In Montenegro, trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a trademark, as it is a "first to file" jurisdiction. Only in some exceptional cases can an unregistered trademark be protected. The trademark applications must be filed with the Intellectual Property Office of Montenegro (ZISCG).
Montenegro is a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.
It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Montenegro in order for it to register. However, prior use may be useful as it can help overcome an objection raised on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness, by proving that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness.
If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Montenegro, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.
Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.
Opposition actions may be filed by third parties against local trademark applications during the period of three (3) months following their publication in the Gazette of the local intellectual property office. In the case of international applications filed via WIPO, the opposition period of three months starting on the first of the month following the publication in the WIPO gazette.
Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for longer than five years after registration or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark.
Registered trademarks in Montenegro have a validity of ten (10) years from the application date and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten (10) years. The trademark renewal can be requested as early as six (6) months before the expiration date. It can also be requested during the grace period of six (6) months after expiration, upon payment of a late renewal fee.
If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration in Montenegro (Trademark Search Report), contact us directly in order to determine if we may be able to offer this in this jurisdiction. In such cases, prices for service and estimated delivery times may vary.