The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-
Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I. In 1918, the Croats,
Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia.
Following World War II, Yugoslavia became a federal independent
Communist state under the strong hand of Marshal TITO. Although
Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it
took four years of fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly
cleared from Croatian lands. Under UN supervision, the last Serbheld
enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.
Who May Apply?
The applicant for a trademark application or the owner of a
registered trademark can be an individual person or a legal entity.
Foreign individual owners or foreign legal entities, without a seat or a
domicile or a usual residence in Croatia, must appoint a local agent to
proceed with the Trademark's Procedure.
What Can Be Registered?
The trademark can be a sign which can be shown graphically,
particularly words, personal names, designs, letters, numerals, the
appearance or the packaging of goods, three-dimensional appearance,
colors, or every combination of the above-mentioned signs.
However, these signs (in combination or not) have to allow differentiation
between the goods and the services of two different
What Cannot Be Registered?
Marks not eligible for registration include:
1. signs which may not be protected as trademarks in accordance
with requirements set out in Article 2 of this Law,
2. signs which are devoid of distinctive character in relation to the
goods or services for which registration is requested,
3. signs which consist exclusively of signs or indications which
may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity,
intended purpose, value, geographical origin, or the time of production
of the goods or of rendering of the service, or to designate
other characteristics of the goods or services,
4. signs which consist exclusively of signs or indications which
have become customary in the current language or in good faith
and the established practices of the trade,
5. signs which consist exclusively of the shape which results from
the natufe of the goods themselves, or the shape of goods which
is necessary to obtain a technical result, or the shape which
gives substantial value to the goods,
6. signs, which are contrary to public policy or to accepted
principles of morality,
7. signs which are of such a nature as to deceive the public, for
instance as to the nature, quality or geographical origin of the
goods or services,
8. signs, which have not been authorized by the competent authorities
and are to be refused pursuant to Article 6ter of the Paris
Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
(hereinafter: "the Paris Convention".)
9. signs for wines which contain or consist of geographical indications
identifying wines or signs for spirits which contain or
consist of geographical indications identifying spirits with respect
to such wines or spirits not having that geographical
10. signs which contain the name or abbreviation of the name, State
armorial bearing, emblem, flag or other official sign of the Republic
of Croatia, or a part thereof, and the imitations thereof,
except with the authorization of the competent authority of the
Republic of Croatia.
Registration shall not be refused to signs specified in paragraphs 2 to 4 of this Article if the applicant proves that the sign has, before the
date of application for registration and following the use which has
been made of it, acquired a distinctive character in respect of the
goods or services for which registration is requested.
The rights conferred by a trademark has effect against third parties
from the date of publication of the registration of the trademark.
Therefore there are no rights belonging to third parties in respect of
similar marks on the same or different goods and services.
The trademark application must contain:
- the filing or application form;
- the applicant's full name and address;
- the list of goodslservices in each class desired;
- if the trademark is a device mark, two prints of the mark
-the Power of Attorney (notarization and legalization not required);
- the priority document (if applicable);
-The applicant can opt to have the first day of the exhibition of
goods bearing the mark, or exhibition in association with
services, used as the filing date of the application, provided
that he files the application in Croatia within six months of
that date. Such use of the mark is called, "exhibition." If the
applicant invokes this exhibition priority right, he must also
file with the Office a certificate issued by the competent
authority of the member State of the Paris Union or the
member State of the World Trade Organization indicating
the type of exhibition, the venue thereof, its opening and
closing dates and the first day of the exhibition of the goods
or services specified in the application.
Residency or a physical presence in the country is not necessary to
file applications for registration. A power of attorney must be signed
and sealed. Fees:
Application for registration: 85 EUR for application in up to 3
classes, and for each additional class: 20 EUR
Renewal: 210 EUR for registered trademark in up to 3 classes, and
for each additional class: 40 EUR.
Evaluation & Review
Applications for registration of a trademark are filed with the Croatian
Trademark Office. The decisions made by the Office are not subject
to any appeal, but an administrative lawsuit may be instituted.
The examination of the correctness of the application includes the
examination of all the requirements prescribed by the Croatian Law
& Regulations for Trademarks. The trademark application will comply
with these requirements iE
- the application for registration is filed at the Office.
-the applicant has not, in one application, requested registration
of more than one sign for which protection is sought.
-the application for registration complies comply with the
administrative requirements for the filing (see above).
- the application for the registration complies with the examination
requirements for the registration.
If the application complies with all these requirements, the application
may be published in the Croatian Intellectual Property Gazette.
After the publication, third parties may lodge an opposition.
If no opposition is filed within three (3) months from the publication
date, the trademark shall be entered in the trademark register,
subject to the prior payment of the procedural charges for the maintenance
of the trademark for the first 10-year period and for the publication
of the data on the trademark. If the procedural fees previously
referred to are not paid, the application for registration of a trademark
will be rejected.
The data concerning the trademark will be published in the Croatian
Intellectual Property, Gazette no later than within three months
from the date of entry of the trademark in the register.
On the request of the holder of a trademark, and subject to the
prior payment of the prescribed procedural charges for the issuance of
the trademark certificate, the Office will issue the certificate to the
holder of the trademark no later than three months from the date of
publication of the trademark in the Office's Official Gazette.
The protection of a registered trademark begins on the date upon
which the application was filed and applies for 10 years from the date
of registration. The registration may be renewed for 10-year periods.
The applications for renewal must be accompanied by the payment
of the official fee and must occur no later than six months after the
expiration of the registration period. The trademark may be renewed
for all or part of the goods andfor services. The renewal is listed in the
Trademark Register and published in the Official Gazette. If
trademark owner fails to renew their registration he must move to reinstatement
his rights or they will be lost.
A holder of a trademark is entitled to use a trademark in respect of
the goods or services for which it is registered. Examples of the use of
marks include apposition/application of the mark on brochures,
samples, data sheets, invoices, labels, packaging, etc.
The following uses of the trademark shall constitute use by the
- use in a form differing in elements which do not alter the distinctive
character of the trademark in respect of the form in
which it was registered;
- affixing of the trademark to goods or to the packaging thereof in
Croatia concerned solely for export purposes;
-use of the trademark with the consent of the holder or by any
person who has authority to use a collective mark or a
- if, within a period of five years following the date of registration,
the trademark is not in used or if the use has been interrupted
for a period of five years, cancellation of the trademark
may be requested by third parties.
The Croatian DNS Registry has adopted regulations regarding the
organization of the top-level 'hr' Internet domain and the principles of
managing the domain. The Croatian Academic and Research Network-
CARNet-is the administrator of the top-level "hr" domain. It
was authorized by the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) in
There are six types of subdomains of the HR domain, and registrations
are handled according to the provisions of the CARNet
1. HR-P domains-domains for the virtual identity of legal persons
2. HR-F domains-domains for the virtual identity of natural
persons (i.e., davor-boskovic.from.hr);
3. HR-D domains-domains for virtual identity of private businesses
of natural persons (i.e., boskovic-patents.hr);
4. HR-T domains-domains for market demands and other additional
demands of legal and natural persons (i.e.,
5. HR-V domains-domains important for Croatia and the Croatian
information space (i.e., science.hr; culture.hr);
6. HR-I domains-domains for the improvement of Croatian information
space (birds.hr; cars.hr).
There are no examinations of domain names to check for potential
conflicts with registered trademarks. All domain names are registered
indefinitely, except HR-T, for which annual renewal applies, and HR-I
domain, for which biannual renewal is required.
Enforcement of IP rights:
The owner of a prior mark can obtain the cancellation of a domain
name identical to his mark and reserved after his mark's registration
date, provided that the domain user is misusing the domain, violating
the intellectual property, especially copyright or trademark rights, i.e.
protected verbal signs registered or acknowledged by the State Intellectual
Property Office. Deactivation through an emergency procedure
Through this procedure, an owner may have the domain name
transferred to him if in the cancellation procedure the trademark
owner proves that he owns a valid trademark registration.
The request for cancellation and deactivation of a domain name is handled in an arbitration proceeding and the owner of the trademark
should file through his attorney a request for an arbitration proceeding.
CARNet offers a dispute resolution process that is handled by an
arbitrator. The main guidelines are stated in Rules on arbitration for
solving disputes regarding subdomains within.hr domain, issued by
the CARNet's Board of Governors. It is not necessary to go to court as
all disputes are guided by Rules on arbitration for solving disputes
regarding subdomains within the.hr domain.
Usually it is only necessary to submit evidence of prior trademark
registration in Croatia. However, it is always useful to prove that the
domain name was registered in a bad faith.
CARNet does not grant any remedies, it can only settle the disputes
and transfer the rights to domain name. However, a Lawsuit against
infringer of domain name can be filed requestin remedies.
An owner of a domain name reserved before the filing of a mark by
another party usually cannot obtain the cancellation of the mark.
However, it is always possible that an owner of a domain name has
become well-known by its domain name and such owner may attempt
to register a mark based on the corresponding domain name. Such an
owner, to enforce his rights, must prove that she has 'older' rights in
the domain name and that registration of the mark was made in bad faith.
The Trademark Law ha's no provisions regarding customs measures
for the regulation and control of counterfeit goods. However, the
measures and procedures regarding counterfeits are regulated by the
Decree on Custom Measures for Goods that Infringe the Intellectual
Property Rights of Others.