The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union
As OHIM’s trade mark liaison meeting on 9-10 June got under way, the European Commission was preparing to announce an “historic” step towards Croatian membership of the EU.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso revealed at noon on 10 June it had proposed to the EU Council of Ministers to close the accession negotiations with Croatia, paving the way for Croatia to join the EU as the 28th Member State as of 1 July 2013.
Attending the liaison meeting, together with representative of IP offices from most of the EU member states was the Head of Substantive Examination in the Croatian Trade Mark and Design Department Višnja Kuzmanović.
Just before the official announcement, she outlined the reasons for participating in the meeting and looked forward to the even closer relationship with the Office that full EU membership will bring.
What’s your reaction to the news?
We are very pleased and we are expecting as all the news is saying that sometime in 2013 we will become a member of the EU family.
What will that open up for you in terms of your relationship with OHIM?
There are lots of new opportunites that will be open with our accession. Firstly, we will be able to use the Cooperation Fund and to participate in EU projects with OHIM and with the EU country members. Secondly, we will be able as well to harmonise our legislation on the classification of goods and services. Thirdly, we will have the opportunity to have closer bilateral cooperation with EU members and OHIM.
Of course, even in the EU, convergence is an ongoing process
It’s a never-ending story. Even from these liaison meetings we can see that in the contacts with EU members we can see that new issues arise and new problems have to be solved.
How useful are these liaison meetings?
We see a lot of advantages. Firstly, we can share our experience with other offices and see their practices. Furthermore, OHIM practice is very much the reference for our work in absolute examination as well as the relative grounds are concerned. So, it’s the opportunity to exchange experience and to learn more about recent developments in EU jurisprudence.”
Commission Press Release
Video interview with the Head of Substantive Examination in the Croatian Trade Mark and Design Department Višnja Kuzmanović.
Experts attending the 6th Trade Mark Liaison Meeting at OHIM on 9-10 June