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New Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications entered into Force in Romania

The Law 66/2010 amending the current Romanian Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications entered into force in Romania on May 09, 2010. The new law introduces important changes in terminology, improved registration procedure for national applications, and it ensures the existence of a legal framework for the prosecution of European Union community trademarks.

The most important amendment to the current law is the waiver of the examination on relative grounds, leaving it to the interested parties to file an opposition. Interested parties can submit observations on absolute grounds and formulate opposition on relative grounds within two months from the publication in the online database of Romania’s Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). While the old Trademark Law provides a three-month term within which an applicant may respond to an opposition, under the new law, an applicant will have only 30 days to reply to the opposition notice.

The new legal provisions broaden the category of signs that can be registered as trademarks by introducing "holograms" and "sound marks."

The new law also incorporates relevant EU provisions that were previously not included in the national legislation; namely, it includes the Directive 2008/95/EC. Thus, a national application will be rejected if it is identical or similar to a prior community registration, even if it is filed for the goods and services that are different from the goods and services of the prior mark. A community registration can be converted into a national one upon the payment of examination fees for national applications.