By implementing the Trademark-Directive EU 2015/2436 and the Regulation EU 2017/1001 on the European Union trademark the Austrian legislators have adapted the Austrian Trademark Protection Act (MSchG) to the European requirements. The amendments are effective since 1 September 2017 in most parts and bring numerous facilitations for the application process.

New Calculation method of the protection period starting 1.9.2018

So far the trademark protection begins with the day of the registration in the trademark register and expires ten years after the end of the month of the registration of the trademark. With the implementation of the new regulation, the ten year protection period starts with the day the trademark was filed. The new calculation method of the protection period applies without exception to all trademarks in Austria, thus to registered and filed trademarks.

Option of division of the filed or registered trademark

Since 1.9.2017, §§ 23a ff MSchG provides the option to divide the application/registration of a trademark in two or more applications/registrations, which have the same priority rights as the basic application/registration. Such applications for division might be interesting during the process of filing for trademark protection, in which the patent office has concerns about the distinctiveness of parts of the trademark. The division will be available for international trademarks as of 1.2.2019. Applications must be filed at the Austrian Patent Office.

Certification marks on a national level

As a counterpart to the EU Certification Mark a national certification mark was implemented. The certification mark is capable to distinguish goods or services in respect of material, mode of manufacture of goods or performance of services, quality, accuracy or other characteristics, from uncertified products. Explicitly excluded by the protection of the certification mark is the indication of the geographical origin.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.