Hellenic Industrial Property Organization – new responsibilities according to Law 4796/2021
To simplify the procedures and further promote Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Law 4796/2021 (Government Gazette A’63/17.04.2021) provides for the transfer of responsibilities regarding trademarks, which previously belonged to the Greek Trademark Office of the General Secretariat of Commerce and Consumer Protection of Ministry of Development & Investments (“Greek Trademark Office”), to Hellenic Industrial Property Organization (“ΗIPO”). Thus, a single national policy for all intellectual property rights is created, in harmonization with the practice followed in other countries.
According to the new law, ΗIPO:
–is specified as the competent national authority to verify the authenticity of the final decisions of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO);
–participates in and represents Greece regarding the trademark issues before the EUIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”), and any relevant European or International organization or body,
– undertakes, as the new single national authority, the continuation and completion of the programs, co-financed or not, actions, services and projects of the Greek Trademark Office, the detailed list of which will be given until 27.04.2021 by the Trademark Office to the General Director of HIPO.
The purposes of HIPO include the awarding of national trademarks, the maintenance of the register of trademarks and, generally, the exercise of all the responsibilities related to trademarks. In addition, the responsibilities of the General Director of HIPO now include the issuance of trademarks, certificates for trademarks and copies from the register of trademarks.
Physical (papered) and electronic trademark file, information systems, software of the Administrative Trademark Committee are transferred from the Greek Trademark Office to HIPO. The file is kept unified and entirely by HIPO. The fees in favor of the State for the operation of the trademark register, provided by Article 87 of Law 4669/2020 are now paid to the HIPO, and all proceeds from all types of funds are transferred from the EUIPO and the WIPO to HIPO.
All the publications according to Law 4679/2020 are now posted on the IPO’s website.
The Administrative Trademark Committee, which is now established by a decision of the Minister of Development and Investment after the recommendation of the Board of Directors of HIPO is responsible, in addition to the responsibilities established by Articles 25, 29, 50 and 52 of Law 4679/2020, for the resolution of any dispute that arises between HIPO and the applicants or beneficiaries of trademarks or third parties.
The responsibilities for the Greek Trademark for Products and Services provided by Law 4072/2012 (articles 184-196), which is an optional distinctive mark of the origin of Greek products and services, also remains in the Greek Trademark Office.
The trademark applications that at the time, that Law 4796/2021 entered into force, are pending before the Greek Trademark Office are examined by HIPO, and the cases that are pending before the Administrative Trademarks Committee without having yet been discussed, are adjudicated by the Administrative Trademark Committee with the new composition according to Law 4796/2021.
HIPO has already developed all the necessary and compatible standards, information systems, databases and technical capabilities for electronic communication and submission of applications for Industrial Property titles, as well as online registers accessible via Internet.
A decision of Minister of Development and Investment is expected, to regulate the necessary details of practical, organizational, technical or other nature in relation to the implementation of the new provisions, with the aim of smooth transfer of responsibilities, Register and Trademark’s file to the HIPO, as well as for the uninterrupted operation and provision of Register of Trademarks services to the public.