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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jan 27, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 1/22)
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Industrial Property Law Amended

The Albanian Industrial Property Law was amended to introduce new provisions on trade secrets, trademarks, and the Internal Market Inspectorate. It entered into force on August 22, 2021.

Trade Secrets
The amended law defines trade secrets, sets out the rules for their lawful and unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure, as well as the rules for maintaining their confidentiality during and after legal proceedings, aligning with the Directive (EU) 2016/943. The law also provides trade secret holders with a range of measures that can be used in the event of misappropriation of trade secrets, including compensatory damages.

The amendments provide that a trademark registration may be divided into two or more registrations. Previously, it was only possible to divide a trademark application. In addition, the Intellectual Property Office will now reject a trademark application during substantive examination if the dominant element of the trademark is considered to be non-distinctive, even if the applicant requests a disclaimer of such element. This was previously not explicitly defined in the law.

Internal Market Inspectorate
The amendments to the IP Law also define the role and duties of the Internal Market Inspectorate (IMI), whose main responsibility is to ensure the safety of non-food consumer products by instigating internal market inspections. The role of IMI in IP right enforcement was previously not defined. Under the amended law, right holders can file a formal request to the IMI for seizure of goods that infringe their registered IP rights once they become aware of such goods on the market.

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