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EU accession of Croatia and Community Trademark [January 20th, 2013]

Following the accession of Croatia to the European Union from 1 July 2013, the CTM (Community Trademark) will include this new member state as one of those under protection. A CTM applied before 1 July 2013 will be extended to the territory of all member states, including Croatia.

The proprietor of a CTM will not be expected to pay additional fees for maintaining its CTM in the new member state nor will there be any other obligations.

It will not be possible to challenge the validity of extended CTMs (registrations of CTMs or applications for registration valid prior to Croatia’s accession) on the basis of absolute grounds applicable on account of the accession of Croatia.

CTM applications submitted before the accession of Croatia, but under consideration after the date of accession, shall be examined according to the rules applied prior to Croatia's accession, although the actual registration will take place afterwards.

It will be possible for rights acquired previously in Croatia, prior to accession, to be invoked to oppose the registration of a pending CTM but such cases will be limited to those in which the CTM application was filed within the six months prior to the date of accession.

Holders of existing national rights in Croatia will be entitled to prohibit the use of extended CTMs in the territory of the new member state on the basis of national legislation, where the earlier right was valid in Croatia before the date of accession, provided that these earlier rights have not been acquired in bad faith.

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