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The new Greek Trademark Law no. 4679/2020

posted 4 years ago

While almost all Countries in
the world deal with the serious Covid-19 – crisis, there are also new laws
which should get attention.

On March 20, 2020, the long
awaited new Greek trademark Law no. 4679/2020 was published. Amendments in the
Trademark Law were urgent, as the Directive 2015/2436 usually had to be
implemented into Greek law until January 15, 2019, more than one year ago.

The Greek legislator decided
not only to implement Directive 2015/2436 into Greek law, but made also some
serious amendments in trademark law.

The new provisions allow the
filing of all forms of trademarks, as required by Directive 2015/2436. This
includes any sign which is capable of distinguishing goods or services,
including sound trademarks, which were not covered under Greek Law until now. Furthermore,
Art. 8 of Law no. 4679/2020 includes the right to prohibit preparatory acts in
relation to the use of packaging or other means. In this way, Art. 11 of the Directive
2015/2436 is implemented into Greek Law. Now, the Greek Trademark Law provides
proper protection with regard to preparatory acts, a right which was not
provided by the prior Trademark Law.

However, the most important
amendment of the Greek Trademark Law is related to the filing procedure. Based
on the prior Trademark Law, the Trademark Committee often rejected trademarks due
to relative grounds for refusal or invalidity. This procedural step very much
delayed the registration of the trademark. Such a rejection for relative
grounds is not included anymore in the Law no. 4679/2020. Based on Law no.
4679/2020, the Trademark Committee only rejects trademark applications for absolute
grounds but not for relative grounds. This amendment will very much simplify
the filing proceeding and will expedite the registration of the trademarks.

A further serious amendment
is related to the responsibility of Administrative Courts and Civil Courts.
Based on the prior legislation, the Administrative Courts were responsible for
all proceedings concerning the validity of trademarks, which included all
oppositions and cancellations. The Civil Courts were responsible only for the infringement
proceedings. Under the new Law no. 4679/2020, the Civil Courts will be
responsible not only for all infringement proceedings, but also for cancellation
or invalidity proceedings. Only the opposition procedure stays with the
responsibility of the Administrative Courts. This amendment was indeed
necessary, as the Civil Court proceedings often included issues concerning the
validity of trademarks, and the responsibility in this regard was very much
disputed. The new legislation now clarifies this issue.

Finally, Greek Law now
allows the filing of certification marks, which was not possible under the
prior legislation.

The Law no. 4679/2020 therefore
indeed modernizes Greek Trademark Law, not only by implementing Directive
2015/2436 but also by simplifying and clarifying the proceedings before the
Trademark Office and the responsible Courts. This will increase the legal
certainty in Greece.



Dr. Henning Voelkel, LL.M.


Voelkel Kataliakos Roussou Law Office

57, Panepistimiou street

Athens 10564, Greece

Web Site:  www.vokalaw.gr


About the Author:

Dr. Voelkel is an expert in IP law in Greece, especially in patent,
plant variety and trademark cases. Dr. Voelkel is included in “IAM 1000” as one
of the Leading Professionals Worldwide and has been awarded by “Global Law
Experts” and “Finance Monthly Global” as leading expert concerning IP
litigation in Greece.




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