In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a trademark is acquired by its entry into the Register of Trademarks and is valid from the application filing date. A trademark is valid for ten years from the application filing date and its validity may be extended an indefinite number of times.
An applied for and registered trademark constitutes an independent property that confers on its holder the exclusive rights provided by the Law. The holder of a trademark is entitled to prohibit other persons from:
- Affixing the protected sign to the goods, packaging thereof, or labeling means;
- Offering the goods or putting them into circulation or stocking them for such purposes under the protected sign, or providing services there under;
- Importing, exporting, or transit of the goods under the protected sign;
- d) Using the protected sign on business documents and in advertising.
In addition, the holder of a trademark is entitled to prevent other persons from using without authorization:
- A sign which is identical with his trademark with respect to the goods or services which are identical with those for which a trademark is registered;
- A sign which is identical with or similar to his trademark with respect to the goods or services, which are identical with or similar to the goods or services for which the trademark is registered if there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public, which includes the likelihood of association with that sign and the trademark;
- A sign which is identical with or similar to his trademark with respect to the goods or services which are not similar to those for which the trademark is registered, where the trademark has a reputation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and where the use of that sign without due cause takes unfair advantage of or is detrimental to the distinctive character or the reputation of the trademark (a famous trademark).
The holder of a trademark has to use the trademark. If a trademark is not used without due cause, any interested person may institute a procedure for the termination of such trademark due to non-use.
Here are some interesting cases from court practice about trademark infringement.
In one case, the court established an infringement of the protected trademark “BOSANSKI LOKUM” and the defendant was prohibited from using the trademark in legal transactions in any way, with the obligation to delete the illegally used trademark from packaging, documentation and registers (Municipal Court in Travnik, 051 0 Ps 070846 13 Ps, 04.06.2013.). In another, similar, case, the plaintiff was granted non-material damages, because of the infringement of the trademarks “Sprite”, “Fanta” and “Coca Cola” (Appellate Court of Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gž-282/02, 24.10.2002.).
For additional information, please contact Mr. Kerim Karabdic, head of DRG Sarajevo office.