Capital
Belgrade

Population
almost 7 million (without the highly contested region of Kosovo)

GDP per capita
$22,900

Main industries
agriculture specially fruit growing (blueberries and raspberries in particular) & their export; metal industry, and in recent years, emphasis is on tourism and the export of IT sector’s services.

Interesting & distinctive information in the IP regulations

Tradition in the protection of industrial property in Serbia lasts more than a century. The Kingdom of Serbia was one of the 11 states that founded the Paris Union by signing the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in 1883.

Serbia is also, contractor and member of other international organizations and agreements: WIPO, PCT, TRIPS agreement, Nice agreement on the international classification of goods and services, Madrid Agreement of the International trade mark registration, Convention of the acceptance of EU patent, Hague agreement of international registration of industrial design…

The IPO, established in 1920, only in year 2020, included the institution of oppositions, but retained the right to examine the applications on relative grounds for refusal, before publication, after which oppositions can be filed.

When the previous TM rights presenting the obstacle to your mark being registered are cited by the IPO – possibility of obtaining a Letter of Consent is realistic, something that does not come up in other jurisdictions as a viable solution.

Letters of Consent should always be provided on company letterhead and supplied with company seal/stamp.

They are highly effective, except when they collide with the next point.

IPO rejects coexistence of identical marks – even when owned by the same/connected entity.

Marks comprising of only one color are considered inherently non-distinctive, thus in order to protect them, the owner must prove that distinctiveness has been achieved through prior use & that the color is not functional (in relation to the protected goods/services) more about color protection.

Trade marks can be renewed 6 months from the renewal deadline at the earliest, and the grace period is also 6 months long.

Renewal certificates are not automatically issued – they have to be requested and paid for separately.

IPO’s decisions are final and can be challenged only before the Administrative Court.

Protection of invention is also available via petty patent, definition of which has been recently widened to ‘protecting a product that is a technical solution to a problem’, and not only protection for construction of a product or its layout. Only one independent claim and at the most four dependent claims are available. It can be later converted into a regular one, by a substantial examination request filed before the IPO issues the granting decision.

SPC protection is available, you can read more about the details here.

Patent annuities can be paid 3 months before the deadline and the grace period is the usual 6 months.

When filing a design application, it is necessary for it to contain the written description of the design, which not being a common occurrence elsewhere, is something that most often falls to the local agent to prepare.

Renewal of designs falls every 5 years, which is a change from 7 years ago, when the payment of the first 5 years was part of the payment of the registration cost, after which payments were made every year, just like in patent cases.

POAs in IP matters need to be simply signed and most often supplied in original form. Although many filings are electronic today, and we file scanned copies, it is advisable to have the POA on file. Notarization/legalization is not required.

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