Serbia changes to the opposition based TM system

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Starting this February, Republic of Serbia has changed their Trade Mark Law substantially by switching to an opposition based system rather than the one where the IPO examined all applications ex officio for absolute and relative grounds for refusal.

In the old system, it was  possible to submit a written opinion based on relative grounds for refusal., but this did not make the submitter a party in the process and IPO would not be obliged to reply or inform them of their decision.

The introduction of trade mark opposition procedure, constitutes the most important amendment to the IP law recently, and provides trade marks owners with an enforceable right against pending applications and therefore should reduce cancellations procedures.

However, the law is not excluding the previous approach of ex officio examination for relative grounds for refusal, but combining it with the opportunity for oppositions.

This means that all applications will still be examined by the IPO ex officio for absolute and relative grounds for refusal and only then published and opposition proceedings made possible.