02-17-2016 (Newsletter Issue 3/16)
IP Gazette Twice a Month Now
The Lithuanian PTO informed on its website that the Official Gazette, the SPB Bulletin, will be published twice each month on the 10th and 25th day.
The information included in the SPB Bulletin issue published on the 10th day of each month will cover the period from the 16th day of the previous month to the last day of the said month as well as other official information relevant on the day of publishing. The information included in the Official Bulletin issue published on the 25th day of each month will cover the period from the 1st to the 15th day of the current month and other official information relevant on the day of publishing.
This change in the bulletin publishing process will ensure a more responsive and efficient dissemination of information on industrial property: interested persons will have a faster way to receive information about the entry into force of registered rights or changes in the Patents, Trademarks or Design Registers.
10-28-2014 (Newsletter Issue 16/14)New Trademarks and Designs E-Filing SystemFrom 30 September 2014, the submission of the trademarks and designs applications and other related documents can be filled through the newly amendment electronic system of the State Patent Bureau of the Republic of Lithuania (SPB). A new system allows to fill the applications and send other documents and communications more easily and faster.
Together with the new system the electronic services have been extended; now the applicant can not only submit the application for registration of a new IP right, but also can make requests for other actions, review the status of the documents, find the history reports.
Electronic applications, signed by the person or his representative, have the same legal effect as paper-based documents. SPB issued documents will also be submitted electronically and signed with an electronic signature. For the submission of electronic documents, no special electronic equipment is required. The electronic application can be made via the SPB secure access website www.vpb.gov.lt or e-government gates www.epaslaugos.lt
Applicants are given the opportunity to take advantage from electronic classification of goods or services, the system ensures the good quality of images in the applications.
E-filling system is designed and implemented in collaboration with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) under the Cooperation Fund program.
03-12-2013 (Newsletter Issue 3/13)
Trademark Law Amended
After Lithuania’s parliament ratified the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks on November 8, 2012, it also adopted the amendments to Lithuania’s Law on Trademarks, which will enter into force on June 1, 2013.
The trademark law amendments and the related amendments to the Law on Fees for the Registration of Industrial Property Objects, which will also enter into force on June 1, 2013, are intended to simplify the procedures and reduce registration fees by approximately 25 percent.
Some of the most important changes to the trademark law are described below.
While currently only well-known trademarks and CTMs with reputation enjoy protection against marks covering dissimilar goods or services, the amended law will extend the protection to international registrations designating Lithuania and national trademarks with a reputation in Lithuania.
To simplify the application procedure, the amended trademark law will allow payment of application fees within a month after the filing. Only details of payment will need to be indicated without providing paper copy of the bank transfer.
In case a mark is contested, the amended trademark law will allow a division of the trademark application or registration into several applications or registrations with the obligation to pay application and/or registration fees for each separate application or registration.
Another novelty is that the assignment of trademark rights will not be permitted if:
- The trademark would become misleading as a consequence of the assignment; or
- If the assignee does not submit proof of permission to use the trademark where such permission is required (use of national symbols for example).
Another important change is that licenses will have effect against third parties even if they are not recorded in the Lithuanian trademark register. In addition, it will no longer be necessary to submit a notarized copy of the license agreement for the recordal of a license. A copy of the license agreement will be sufficient for recordal purposes.
Also included are important amendments pertaining to acquiescence. The amended law is clearer in regard to invalidation actions and avoids difficulties with interpretation of “obviously tolerating the use of a later mark for more than five years” as defined in the current version of the law. The amended law more clearly defines that the trademark may not be invalidated “if the owner of the earlier mark has known and has not opposed the use of a later mark” within five years after its registration.
The provisions on the non-use cancellation actions have also been changed. The amended law no longer includes the provision stating that a trademark will be cancelled if it has not been put to use or if there have not been “serious preparations to start use” for five years since the registration. The amended law simplifies the non-use cancellation grounds, i.e. it simply states that the mark must be brought into genuine use within five years of the registration date.
02-18-2013 (Newsletter Issue 2/13)
Singapore Treaty Ratified
On the 8th of November 2012 the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania enacted the Law on the Ratification of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks. On the same day in accordance with implementation of the Treaty the Draft Amendments to the Law on Trademarks of the Republic of Lithuania were approved.
The Law on Ratification of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks will enter into force on the 1st of April 2013. According to the Article 28 paragraph 3 of Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, Lithuania will become bound by this Treaty three months after the date on which it has deposited its ratification instrument. The purpose of the International Treaty is to unify procedural regulations for the trademark registration in contracting states.
11-19-2012 (Newsletter Issue 17/12)Accession to Singapore Treaty and Amendments to Trade Mark LawOn the 8th of November 2012 the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania enacted the Law on the Ratification of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks. On the same day in accordance with implementation of the Treaty the Draft Amendments to the Law on Trademarks of the Republic of Lithuania were approved. The latter will simplify the procedures and reduce the fees for registration of industrial property objects.
When the amendments enter into force the recordal of a license agreement no longer be compulsory in oder to become valid against third parties. That is to say, it will be possible to verify the status of the licensee not only according to the information in the public register, but also to any other obtainable evidences.
The amendments to the laws also will simplify the procedure of recording when registering the rights to the trade mark or to the design license or assignment agreements. a notarized extract from a licensing contract will no longer be obligatory for recording data in the register. The document certifying the conclusion of the licensing contract signed by one of the parties whall be enough.
The Law on the Trademarks also embarks the regulation of division of application or registration of trademarks, protection for national trademarks that gained reputation in the territory of Republic of Lithuania.
The Fee for the trademark application, design application or topography application will be payable within 1 month after filling date.
Additionally, The Law on Fees for the Registration of Industrial Property Objects will reduce the fees by 25 percent and more on patent application, design application, topography of semiconductor product application, grant of patent, design registration, publication and issuance of registration certificate, renewal of design, registration of trademark, patent, and design license agreements, also the changes will allow to confirm the payment by electronic means.
Legislation Amendments will enter into force on the 1st of June 2013.
Source: www.vpb.lt and METIDA Law firm, Lithuania
Legal basis is the "Law on Trademarks" of October 10, 2000, in force since January 1, 2001.
The amendments were made on October 22, 2002, February 19, 2004 and June 8, 2006.
The latest amendments, related to ratification of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, were adopted on November 8, 2012 and came into force on June 1, 2013.
The national trademark registration procedure is also regulated by "Regulations for the registration of trademarks ZR/03/2004". The latest amendments, related to these regulations, were adopted on September 9, 2015 and came into force on September 11, 2015.
Lithuania is a member of the Madrid Protocol. Since May 1, 2004, Lithuania has been a member of the European Union.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration under national, international or Community systems in Lithuania. Trademarks which were protected in the former Soviet Union are protected in Lithuania only, if they were re-registered within the period stipulated.
A mark may be recognised as well-known in a court proceeding if the results of its use or promotion reveal that it is well-known in the relevant sector of the public. It can be protected even without registration.
Nice classification, 11th edition
The international Vienna classification of figurative elements has also been adopted.
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, personal surnames, acronyms, artistic pseudonyms, business names of legal persons, slogans, letters, numerals, drawings, emblems, three-dimensional forms, the three-dimensional form of goods, their packaging or containers, colours or combinations of colours, their compositions, sound marks (represented as musical notation, sonogram or oscillogram) and combinations of the mentioned signs. Further, registrable as a trademark are movement marks, holograms and position marks.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, collective marks and trade names.
The application is filed at the Patent Bureau.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants (not from European Union and European Economic Area countries) need a local agent.
A non-notarized and non-legalised, simply signed power of attorney is sufficient.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination of the application (it should be conducted within one month from receipt of the application) and an examination of the mark based on absolute requirements, but no search for prior trademarks.
The processing time from first filing to registration or first office action is approx. 8-10 months (during this period temporary legal protection shall be afforded for the mark). After registration, the trademark is published in the official bulletin of the State Patent Bureau. After termination of the opposition period, a registration certificate is issued.
The opposition period is 3 months from publication of the registration. The motivated written application for opposition should be filed with the Appeal Division of the State Patent Bureau.
Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark
are available in our publication on this topic here
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months after the expiration date of the trademark.
Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
If the trademark has not been genuinely used within 5 years from issue of the registration certificate for national trademarks or has not been genuinely used later for a continuous period of 5 years, it may be subject to cancellation.
Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee is EUR 69.00 for one class, EUR 34.00 for each additional class and EUR 69.00 for registration and publication.
(Source for exchange-rates: bankenverband.de
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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here
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AAA Law, Vilnius, Lithuania
03-29-2016METIDA Law Firm Zaboliene and Partners
, Vilnius, Lithuania
PETOŠEVIC, Ljubljana , Slovenia
PETOŠEVIC, Ljubljana , Slovenia
Misiunas and Partners, Vilnius, Lithuania
10-19-2010METIDA Law Firm Zaboliene and Partners
, Vilnius, Lithuania