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DR. CHRISTOS A. THEODOULOU

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The Firm Trade Marks Law
& Practice in Cyprus
Patents
in Cyprus
Copyright matters
 in Cyprus

 

A. Trade Marks Law and Practice in CYPRUS:

Trademarks in Cyprus are governed by the Trade Marks Law, Cap. 268 of the Statute Laws of Cyprus and its amendments and the relevant trade Marks rules as issued and amended. The Law and the Rules are based on the British Law and have been in force in Cyprus since the colonial days, before the declaration of the Cyprus Republic in 1960.

Trade Marks are registered for an initial period of seven years, after which the registration may be renewed for periods of fourteen years. Applications for renewal maybe made at any time within three months of the expiry date.

Trade marks are registered in respect of particular goods or classes of goods. Service marks may also be registered in Cyprus (since 19 November 1990)

The procedure for the registration of a trade mark in Cyprus is as follows:

An application is submitted to the registrar on the prescribed form, giving all the relevant details such as the name and/or picture of the mark, the required class or Part of the Registry, a description of the mark and the products it covers and the name, address and occupation of the applicant. Any advocate in Cyprus may be appointed as agent with respect to the registration of trade marks, provided he/she is supplied with a Power of Attorney. In practice, however, there are law offices specializing in trade marks. The Law provides that only advocates can deal with trade mark matters.

On receipt of the application and fee, the Registrar conducts a search to establish the registrability of the mark according to the provisions of the law.

If there are no complications, the mark is registered and a certificate is issued. If there are problems, the registrar writes asking for further particulars or clarifications, or setting out his objections and his reasons for them. The registrar may query the correctness of the class applied for, may ask for the exact meaning or pronunciation of a word or words in a language other than Greek, Turkish or English, may ask for explanations as to what picture represents and so on.

The registrar's objections may be refuted with a "considered reply" in which the applicant argues his views. If the Registrar is convinced to withdraw his objections, the mark is accepted. However, the registrar may impose conditions or propose a disclaimer, an amendment or a limitation with respect to use of colour or colours.

If the applicant cannot accept the Registrar' s decision, then recourse is made to the Supreme Court, whose attitude in general is a conservative one. They tend, to find that they cannot interfere with the registrar discretionary powers, though this does not mean that they always accept the Registrar' s decision.

When an application is accepted, whether this is effected outright or after exchange of arguments and under certain conditions, the Registrar advertises the mark in the official Gazette, inviting anyone wishing to oppose the registration to do so within two months (extensions of time are given). If there is such opposition, the applicant is automatically notified of it and given the chance to reply. Only after this hurdle is passed, does the registrar proceed with the issue of the certificate.

Á registered trade mark may be assigned to a person who may register his title as assignee with the registrar. Also, a person may become the registered user of a trade mark, though this use of the mark is considered to be use of the proprietor of the mark and such right is not assignable.

The Trade Marks Law, in its role as a protection of the rights of the proprietors of trade marks and of the general public, contains á host of provisions which act as safety devices. Persons whose interests are affected by the non registration or "wrong" registration of trade marks may use various mechanisms within the law to rectify the situation. They can oppose registration and they can apply for expungement of registered trade marks. In appropriate cases there are also remedies for infringement and passing-off. Further, Cyprus has signed and ratified the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property which is embodied in the Cyprus Municipal Law (Laws 63/65 and 66/830.

As Cyprus is now moving towards joining the European Union, the country is trying to harmonize her laws with EU directives. The trade Marks laws of Cyprus are influenced by the U.K. 1áů of 193 8, whereas the UK enacted á new law in 1994 aligning their legislation to that of the European Union. It is obvious that Cyprus must also harmonize her trade mark laws with those of the European Union.

Another significant point is that in recent years, there has been á great increase in the volume of foreign trade mark applications in Cyprus. This shows the increased importance the Cyprus economy has for foreign countries. This trend is expected to continue.

(Article published by Dr. Christos Á. Theodoulou in Coopers and Lybrand, Spotlight in Cyprus, 1995 p. 21 )

Since the publication of the above article in 1995, the following happened in the field of Trademarks in Cyprus:

1.   Law no. 176(1)/2000 was enacted and came into force on December 29, 2000.

This Law amends in many respects the existing trademark law of Cyprus.  The main provisions of this law are the abolition of Part “B” of the Register, which means that there is now only one Register in Cyprus.  The addition in the definition of trademark of the names of persons, pictures, letters, numbers, the shapes of the products which, means that the above –mentioned may be accepted, if they are distinctive, as trademarks or service marks. Collective marks have been provided for with the new law.

However, the conditions for the acceptance of a trade or service mark have not been relaxed with the new law and the new law may increase the discretionary power of the Registrar in practice. It is up to the Supreme Court of the Republic to test and interpret this law when cases come before it.

An encouraging aspect of this law is the redrafting of article 13, which has abolished the general statement that a trademark cannot be registered  “by reason of it is being likely to deceive or cause confusion or otherwise be disentitled to protection in a Court of Justice”.

(See C.A. Theodoulou, “Cyprus , part “B” Abolished. More Types of Marks Registrable” INTA Bulletin, March 15, 2001, Vol. 56, No.6, p.4 and C.A. Theodoulou, “Amendment  of Trade Mark Law of Cyprus”, ITMA Information, No. 2/.2001, March 2001, p.3.)

2.  Further, Cyprus entered the TRIPS Agreement on 30th July, 1995, ratified the Trademark Law Treaty on 17th April, 1997 and entered the European Union (EU) on 1st May 2004, and became member of the Madrid Agreement and Protocol as of 4th November, 2003 ( For more about the Trade and Service Marks in Cyprus, see Katzarov’s  Manual on Industrial  Property, 2008 Edition.  (The article on CYPRUS by Dr.Christos A. Theodoulou, III TRADE & SERVICE MARKS)

 

Main
Page

The Firm Trade Marks Law
& Practice in Cyprus
Patents
in Cyprus
Copyright matters
 in Cyprus


 

Theodoulou House No. 1
9, W. Weir Street and 5 Corais Street
lst Floor, P.O. Box 40965
6308 LARNACA- CYPRUS
Tel: 357-24656318, 357-24653111
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Ĺ-mail: c.a.theodoulou@cytanet.com.cy
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