Our law firm counsels domestic and international clients on all aspects of trademark law. We help our clients select their trademarks providing extensive searches on availability and registrability. We file and prosecute trademark applications with the Greek Trademark Office, the OHIM and the WIPO. We have a long experience in trademark litigation and in disputes brought before the administrative courts, the civil courts and the criminal courts. Our watching service for trademarks in Greece is provided free of charge to our clients. We negotiate license agreements and transfers and provide our expertise in maximizing the value of our clients’ brands.

Greek Trademarks

The new Trademark law 4072/2012 entered into force on October 11, 2012. Certain provisions were subsequently amended by law 4155/2013.

The new trademark system in Greece was harmonized with the IP Rights Enforcement Directive 2004/48/EC and the CTM Regulation. The main aim was to accelerate the trademark registration process. Official fees were reduced by approximately 10%.

Under the new law, a trade mark may consist of any sign capable of being represented graphically, which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. In particular, a trade mark may consist of words, names, company names, pseudo-names, designs, letters, numerals, colors, sounds, including musical phrases, the shape of the goods or of their packaging and advertising slogans.

If a word mark is written in anything other than Latin or Greek characters, the application must include a transliteration of the mark into Latin or Greek characters.

Examination of new trademark applications, regarding both absolute and relative grounds for refusal, is conducted by the Examiner of the Greek Trademark Office within one month from the application filing date. If a ground for refusal is found, the applicant is contacted by the Examiner and can either revoke the application or limit the goods or services to secure protection. Alternatively, the applicant submits written observations within one month from the date he is informed about the Examiner’s objections.

If the trademark application is approved by the Examiner, it is published on the website of the Trademark Office within three months from the filing date. Oppositions by third parties must be lodged within three months following such publication.

The decisions of the Examiner are appealed to the Administrative Trademark Committee (ATC). The ATC also hears the oppositions, the applications for revocation and the invalidity declarations.

Trademark licensing is simplified since no examination and approval of the license agreement by the ATC is now required. Licenses may now be recorded upon filing a License Declaration signed by the licensor. The licensor’s signature, however, must be notarized and legalized with Apostille.

Letters of consent are acceptable at any stage of the registration procedure or possible court proceedings.

A division of a trademark application or registration is now possible.

In exceptional cases, restoration of rights in a trademark is now possible when a deadline was not met due to force majeure.

Acquiescence period for 5 successive years is established where the proprietor of an earlier trademark has tolerated the use of a later trademark while being aware of such use.

Geographical indications are included in the absolute grounds for refusal for wine, spirits and agricultural products.

The transit of counterfeit goods, importing of counterfeit goods with the intention of re-exporting them, are treated as trademark infringement.

Calculation of damages is conducted on the basis of hypothetical royalties. Criminal sanctions against trademark infringement are stricter under the new law. A fine of at least 6,000 Euros is imposed. New detailed provisions for the interlocutory injunction proceedings are included in the new law, as well as measures to protect evidence.

Unregistered rights are still protected under articles 13 to 15 of the Unfair Competition Law 146/1914.

The new “Hellenic trademark” is introduced. It shall be granted by a new Committee, yet to be established, to goods and services of Greek origin which fulfill certain requirements.

Community Trademarks - Conversion Of Community Trademarks

The new Trademark law 4072/2012 includes specific provisions on the protection of Community trademarks and CTMs conversions. The deadline to file the documents for a CTM conversion is two months from the notification of the conversion.

International Registration Under The Madrid Protocol

The new Trademark law 4072/2012 includes specific provisions on International Registrations. Certain one-month deadlines applied to Greek trademarks have been extended to 3 months especially for IRs.

For further details, please contact our office.