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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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12-20-2017 (Newsletter Issue 22/17)
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Trademark Law Amended

The Austrian Trademark Protection Act (MSchG) has been amended to partly implement the EU Trademark Directive 2015/2436 and to better adapt the national provisions to the needs of trademark owners. Most of the amendments have been in force since September 1, 2017.

Some of the main amendments are:

- Introduction of certification marks
Certifications marks have been registrable since September 1, 2017.

- Changed calculation of due date and reduction of renewal fees
The ten-year protection period of national Austrian trademarks will be calculated from the date of the application and no longer from the registration as of September 1, 2018. Also, existing trademarks will fall under this new provision. The adoption to the new calculation will shorten the next protection period. To avoid this disadvantage, the renewal fees will be reduced according the length of the shortened period.

- Division of a trademark application or registration
Since September 1, 2017, national trademark applications or registrations may be divided into two or more separate applications or registrations which will bear the original application or priority date. A fee of EUR 200 has to be paid within two months upon filing. Divisions which affect goods and services subject to an opposition or cancellation proceeding may only be effected after termination of those proceedings. The division of Austrian designations of International Registrations is possible from February 1, 2019.

- No subsequent extension of the list of goods and services
Austria eliminated the possibility to extend the protection of an existing trademark to additional goods and services.

- Reduced official application fees and 'fast track application'
The official fees for trademark applications have been reduced and the possibility of a 'fast track application' process has been introduced for online applications without additional cost.

For further information, please read the article of Schönherr Attorneys at Law here

Source: Schönherr Attorneys at Law, Austria and Sonn & Partner Patentanwälte, Austria