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This year, Serbia’s new Trademark Law has come into force. In this regard, many interesting changes have appeared in the process of TM regulation in Serbia. Some of the updates are aimed at addressing pre-existing differences in EU and Serbian trademark legislation. 

Major change

An objection is one of the initial stages in the TM registration process. The possibility object to TM registration in Serbia is considered the most important update to the Trademark Law. If you are interested in registering a Serbian trademark, it should be borne in mind that the owner of the earlier right can file an objection with the Serbian IP Department. A third party may object to your TM registration in the capacity of public interest. 

Exhaustion of a TM

Finally, Serbia has adopted the concept of international exhaustion of TM rights. This principle has its pros and cons, the influence of which depends on many factors and conditions of a particular state or international association.

In those countries where the international principle is applied, legislation or practice provides for specific mechanisms aimed at maintaining a balance of interests of the copyright holder, parallel importers, consumers and the state.

The application of the national regime of exhaustion of rights means that on the territory of a certain state the exclusive right to a TM placed on a specific product is exhausted from the moment the product is first put into circulation directly by the rightholder on the territory of this state.

Regional exhaustion covers customs territory of several states. The exclusive right to a TM is recognized as exhausted from the moment the goods are first introduced into circulation all over the world in case of international exhaustion. 

The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IP Rights (TRIPS) stipulates that WTO member states enjoy discretion over which exhaustion of rights they will adhere to.

Comparison in advertising

Comparative advertising rules are now entirely derived from EU law. A brand owner can now file a claim for infringement of TM rights in Serbia if someone used the mark in an implicit identification of a competitor or in explicit comparing in their advertising materials.

For these actions, sanctions will follow including huge fines. 

It is also worth noting that the new Law has terminated the two-instance procedure for resolving TM disputes in Serbia. 

Professional assistance

If you are planning to register a Serbian trademark, we suggest using the legal advice on the regulation of trademarks in Serbia from the experts of IQ Decision UK. Qualified specialists will also help to resolve a TM dispute in the EU and provide the necessary legal advice for your business.