On 1 July 2013, the Republic of Croatia will become a full member of the European Union, which is thus enlarged to 28 countries.
As from 1 July, the previous Community trade mark registrations or Community designs will automatically extend their protection to Croatia, without the need of any formality and at no cost. It will not be possible to contest preexisting Community trade mark registrations on the basis of absolute grounds for refusal (for instance, that the trade mark is generic or descriptive in Croatian language) or on the basis of relative grounds for refusal (invalidity actions on the basis of earlier national Croatian trade marks or International trade marks designating Croatia, which may be identical or similar). Only the use in the Croatian territory of a registered Community trade mark could eventually be forbidden by the owners of prior identical or similar trade marks having effects in Croatia.
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