December 07, 2023

Global developments in the field of intellectual property


As of November 21, 2023, Croatia implemented a new complete electronic service covering registration procedures for trademarks and industrial designs before the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office (DZIV).

The previously available electronic service allowed for the submission of trademark and industrial design applications only. The new, more comprehensive service, however, allows for the submission of further requests and actions with regard to the registration and subsequent maintenance of trademark and industrial design rights. This includes the extension of the validity for trademarks and designs, as well as the transfer of rights and the filing of objections and other such actions.

The implementation of the new complete e-service subsequently means that the previous one ceases to operate with regard to trademark and design rights.

The introduction of the new electronic service follows the implementation of the Ordinance on Amendments to the Trademark Ordinance which was enacted on November 16, 2023. The Ordinance officially allows for the submission of requests and other submissions in electronic form, a move which aims to improve and simplify the submission process.

The changes to the electronic services for the submission of IP rights have been introduced in line with an ongoing effort to digitalize procedures in Croatia in accordance with the National Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia enforced until 2030, and the Digital Croatia Strategy enforced until 2032. These strategies are hoped to facilitate the introduction of digital solutions in the interest of Croatian economic development and nationals.

Further, the introduction of a more comprehensive electronic services is a result of a cooperation between the DZIV and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).


Earlier this year, on June 1, 2023, the law to adapt patent regulations due to the European patent reform of August 20, 2021 entered into effect in Germany. The new legislation led to the implementation of several amendments to the Act on International Patent Conventions (IntPatÜbkG) and the Patent Act (PatG) in the country.

One of the most poignant changes implemented includes an amendment to the “double protection ban”, which previously did not allow for applicants to obtain IP protection via both national patents and European patents (EP) simultaneously. This meant that a national patent was rendered ineffective in the instance that the right owner was granted a European patent for the same invention.

As of June 1, the double protection ban was altered, meaning that it is now possible for inventors to own both a national patent as well as an EP or an EP with unitary effect, otherwise known as a Unitary Patent (UP).

The exception to the lifting of the ban on double protection does not, however, apply to European patents that are not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). As such, if a patent application is opted out of the jurisdiction of the UPC, and obtains EP protection, the invention will not be able to be protected via a national patent simultaneously. It is however possible to invoke an “objection of double claim” as a defendant protection mechanism. This mechanism allows defendants in infringement proceedings to avoid double legal action occurring regarding both their national patent before national courts and an EP or UP before the UPC.

Despite the above, it remains possible to register a utility model simultaneously, or to convert an EP application to a utility model with effect in Germany.

The regulations now clarify that UP’s have the same effect and should be treated as national patents in relation to provisions for compulsory licenses. Moreover, a “safety net for patent holders” now exists, meaning that if an application for a patent with unitary effect is withdrawn or rejected, the patent holder will have the ability to validate their patent as an EP.

The changes to the regulations have also enforced an amendment to the Patent Act. As such, the DPMA Register will now detail the date of entry of the unitary effect of an EP in the register for unitary patent protection, as well as the day on which the unitary patent comes into effect (the day on which the grant of the patent is published in the European Patent Bulletin by the EPO).

The changes to the German patent legislation and regulations brings the national law in line with that of the EU, further solidifying a push toward a more cohesive and streamlined patent system in the region by way of the UPC.

PCT fees

The WIPO has announced that amendments to the PCT international fees payable with regard to the filing of international patent applications are set to enter into force as of January 1, 2024. This is owing to international currency adjustments.

As per the alterations, the fee payable for the filing of an international patent application under the PCT via the Norwegian Patent Office will decrease by 2% from 15,950 NOK to 15,630 NOK.

The international search fee is set to increase from 19,970 NOK to 20,090 NOK, constituting an approximate 0.6% rise, when carried out by either the Nordic Patent Institute (NPI), the Swedish Patent Office (PRV), or the European Patent Office (EPO).

A PCT application filed with the Norwegian Patent Office as the receiving authority via ePCT will experience a reduced rate of 2,350 NOK for the submission of XML files in non-character coded format, decreasing by approximately 2% from 2,400 NOK. For the submission of XML files in character-coded format, the fee payable will also drop by an approximate 2% from 3,600 NOK to 3,520 NOK.


As of November 10, 2023 the Eurasian Patent Office enforced a modified fee schedule in relation to the maintenance of the validity of Eurasian patents in the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan.

As per the amended schedule, a new fee has been implemented for the first and second year of Eurasian patent validity in Tajikistan, constituting a cost of 54.38 USD for each year respectively.

Additionally, a new fee has been enforced for each year of validity between the twenty-first and the twenty-fifth. As such, the cost for each year respectively from twenty-one to twenty-five constitutes 600 USD.

Each year of patent validity between the years of three and twenty remains unchanged.

Author: Danielle Carvey