In Serbia, 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 the Republic of Serbia (ZIS).
Serbia is also 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 Serbia 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 Serbia, 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 file observations in order to point out to the examiner potential obstacles to the registration. However, this does not constitute an official opposition procedure.
After registration, cancellation actions may be presented by third parties based on prior rights.
Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for periods of five years or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark.
Registered trademarks in Serbia 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.