Croatia to join EU
20 June 2013, Claire Freeman
Croatia will become the 28th EU Member State as of 1st July 2013. This follows the accession of ten Member States in May 2004 and another two in January 2007.
As a result of this change, all existing Community Trade Marks (CTMs) will automatically be extended to cover Croatia from this date and so you do not need to take any action. However, although your trade mark will be protected in Croatia, this does not mean that you are necessarily free to use your mark there. Owners of earlier Croatian trade mark rights could prevent the use of your mark. If you want to know if you are free to use your trade mark in Croatia without the risk of infringement, please contact us for advice.
A slight quirk of the system means that any CTM Applications filed from 1st January 2013 may be opposed by the owners of earlier Croatian trade marks despite the fact that the applications will not be in force in Croatia until 1st July.
Registered Community Designs (RCDs) will also automatically be extended to Croatia.