This post will describe the procedure to register a trademark in Romania using the national procedure in front of OSIM. Alternative ways to obtain protection in Romania is using WIPO registration or OHIM. Both international procedures are accessible and offer the same rights to the trademark applicant as the national application.
The procedure in Romania starts with the application. Application for trademark registration is not yet possible online.
Romanian applicants may apply directly (as should be the case for EU citizens and EU companies , although it is not implemented yet).
Non Romanians have to appoint a local trademark attorney.
It is highly advisable to use a trademark attorney to apply in Romania. It is not expensive and you get real professional help.
Application is possible for a word mark as well as for device mark. Multiclass application is possible.
The application is first examined for absolute form. if the application misses some mandatory requirements a formal provisional denial is issued. This denial requires a response from the applicant.
Many applications submitted without assistance from a trademark attorney are objected to. Responses have to be prepared by an attorney to avoid rejection. Most applications are subject to formal rejection.
Once the response is filed and accepted or the application is formally correct, the examination takes place. Examination looks for intrinsic characteristics of the trademark application but also for similarity to other Romanian trademarks or community trademarks. Also the examination looks into the confusion which might be created by the trademark with other Intellectual property, including but not limited to copyright or geographical origin denominations.
If the examination is rejected a refusal is issued. Tothis the applicant may respond. If the response is rejected, a formal rrjection is issued. The applicant may complain to OSIM in an administrative procedure. If The complaint is rejected the applicant can appeal to Bucharest Tribunal and then to Bucharest Court of Appeal. This decision is final.
If the response is accepted or if no refusal is issued by OSIM the trademark is published in the Industrial Property Official Bulletin.
After the publication as well as during the administrative examination of the application third parties may issue oppositions. They are judged by OSIM and then appealed to Courts for two times.
However, the trademark holder’s rights exist and can be enforced immediately after the publication.
If a trademark is not used for 5 consecutive years a cancellation request can be filed by any interested third party.
Cancellation can also be requested if the registration was done in bad faith.
Both these requests are done directly in Court and have to be duly proven (mainly the claimant has to prove interest in the action).
The procedure is not very simple and due to the high number of issues it is advisable to work with a professional.