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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Feb 14, 2019 (Newsletter Issue 2/19)
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Important Amendments to Trademark Act

The Austrian Trademark Act (MSchG) has been amended, following the implementation of several new provisions of Austrian legislation in 2017. The changes of the EU Trademark Directive 2015/2436 have been implemented into law and entered into force on January 14, 2019.

Important changes are the following:

- Requirement of graphic representability of signs abolished
- Protection against product piracy possible
- Procedural fees reduced: Online incentives available now also for patent, design and international trademark applications. Significantly reduction of fees for applications before the Nullity Division of the Patent Office and of fees for application for cancellation of trademarks
- E-filing of new types of trademark such as multimedia and motion marks

Further changes affect the examination procedure:

- An opposition can now also be based on nationally and internationally well-known trademarks or designations of origin and geographical indications.
- An opposition may also be based on several trademarks provided that they belong to the same proprietor.
- In cancellation proceedings it is possible to base a cancellation request on a trademark application; if the trademark is registered before the cancellation decision (Sec. 30 para 2a MSchG).
- New relative grounds for cancellation are available. Among others, persons who are entitled to injunction claims against the use of the trademark under the Copyright Act (Sec. 32b MSchG) or the Design Protection Act (Sec. 32c MSchG) may also apply for cancellation of the trademark.

For more information, please check the article of Wolf Theiss here

Please note that the amendments have been included and the Austrian chapter (survey/licensing) has been updated thanks to our contributor Maybach Görg Lenneis & Partner from Austria.