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Under what legislation are intellectual property rights granted? Are there restrictions on how IP rights may be exercised, licensed or transferred? Do the rights exceed the minimum required by the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs)?
Specialist IP panels have been created in Bucharest and have developed solid case law, as they have exclusive jurisdiction over all trademark cancellation and revocation cases. Choosing the right forum can therefore be crucial.
While protection for well-known marks is in place, there are some contradictions in the treatment of fame
The protection of well-known trademarks has its roots in Article 6bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property – to which Romania is a founding member – whereby signatories undertook to refuse or cancel the registration, and to prohibit the use, of a trademark which constitutes a reproduction, imitation or translation of a well-known mark, and is liable to cause confusion with that mark.
Author Dragos M Vilau
The legal framework for the protection and enforcement of IP rights in Romania is as follows:
Nutricia International B.V. (‘Nutricia’), part of the Danone Group, represented by Andra Musatescu Law & Industrial Property Offices, has just obtained a positive decision in an annulment action brought against a local producer of milk and milk products, S.C. Avi Seb Impex SRL (‘Avi’).
For over 2 years now, the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks has been supporting the amendment of Law 84/1998 in relation to trademarks and geographical indications.
I Legal provisions and dilution concept
The Romanian legislation provides for protection against dilution with respect to:
(1) the registration of a later trademark;
(2) the actual use of a later trademark,
although, neither the legislation, nor the case law, contain the definition of “dilution”.
The recent Decision no. 962 of June 4, 2008 of the Bucharest Tribunal set a precedent in Romania regarding the protection of the product form, and packaging shape of the product by registered trademarks.
At the beginning of each season Voicu & Filipescu releases a specialized newsletter on Intellectual Property Rights. Besides outlining the legislative developments of the previous trimester, the firm’s newsletter also comprises a cover article on a legal matter of interest to the business environment. Read our 2008 spring issue, including “Copyright under Romanian laws”, a thorough analysis drawn up by the firm’s lawyers.
Following the implementation in the domestic law of the Trade related Aspects of Intellectual Property Treaty, the Romanian Unfair Competition Law defines the trade secret as an information which is not generally known or is not easily accessible to the people usually dealing with this kind of information, which derives economic value from the fact of being secret and for which the legitimate holder took the reasonable steps to keep it secret. Anything may be a secret of economic value: a process, an error to avoid, an invention, an idea, a discovery, a prognosis, a list of clients or suppliers, a strategy, the source-code of a software, a formula, a fact.
We are currently facing curious times, as Romania does not yet have a new trademark law dealing with problems brought by community trademarks further to Romania becoming part of the European Union. Instead, we are in the difficult position to use the old law, still in force at the moment, by interpreting its provisions corroborated with the European Community law.
The Law no. 344 of 2005 on Measures for Insuring the Compliance with the Intellectual Property Rights within Customs Proceedings (“Law no. 344”) entered into force on February 3, 2006. Law no. 344 brought significant amendments to the procedure introduced by Law no. 202 of 2000.
According to Law no. 344, in order to have an intellectual property right monitored by the customs, the owner of an intellectual property right (“IP Owner”) must file with the Customs Authority a special Declaration whereby: