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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Sep 24, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 15/20)
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Trademark Act Amended

The Icelandic Intellectual Property Office (ISIPO) informs that the Trademark Act No 45/1997 was amended to incorporate the European Union trademark directive 2015/2436 into Icelandic law. The changes entered into force on September 1, 2020.

The act contains various new provisions and harmonizes the EU and EEA trademark systems, not only regarding trademarks but also collective marks and guarantee and certification marks. Some of the main changes are the following:
- No requirements for trademarks to be graphically represented
- New non-traditional trademarks are registerable e.g. colours, sounds, holograms and animations
- Change of protection period for trademarks is now 10 years from application date. The protection period of earlier trademarks does not Change.
- Registration requirements of trademarks are clarified, and refusal grounds divided into absolute grounds and relative grounds.
- Clarification on grounds for refusal for trademark applications submitted in bad faith
- In opposition proceedings, trademarks will receive a registration date after the finalisation and possible court proceedings. Only then does the five-year use requirement period begin.
- Any third-party can now file observations prior to registration without having a legitimate interest
- Non-use of trademark is now acceptable as defence in opposition proceedings
- Revocation and invalidity procedures are now separated into different procedures

For further information, please see the article of our Country Index contributor for Iceland, the law firm LEX here