TRADE MARK LEGISLATION
IN GREECE No. 2239/1994 re: “Trade Marks”
After a four years
intensive work of an experts' Committee a new trade mark law, in
harmonisation with the Directive 89/104/EEC, was enacted in Greece on
the 15th of September 1994 under the No 2239/1994 re: “Trade Marks” to
be in force as from the 1st of November, 1994 which modifies and modernises a fifty five years previous trade mark legislation.
The Partner and Administrator of our Firm Mr.
Thanos Masoulas was a
Member of the Committee of Experts, which prepared the Draft Law and the
“raporteur” of the Law (Κείμενο Νόμου). He also drafted the Introductory
Report to the Law (Κείμενο Εισηγητικής Εκθέσεως).
The new law has
followed in principal the successful system of the previous legislation,
but at the same time has included any and all guidelines of the
harmonisation, the results of half a century jurisprudence and the
spirit of the current developments in the international trade and
The main guidelines
of the new legislation are the following.
1. Security in the trade
1.1. A Committee, named “Administrative
Trade Mark Committee” is responsible for checking both the
absolute and the relative bars and accepts an application to
be matured to registration if no absolute or relative bar occurs.
1.2. A third party opposition is provided within a period of
four months, starting from the 16th of the month following the date
of publication into the Gazette. If no opposition occurs the trade mark
is registered. Thus within a short time, of approximately 10 months, if
no bar or opposition occurs, the registration is granted and gives the
absolute right to the proprietor to properly use, defend from
infringements and easily invest on the trade mark.
1.3. Nevertheless for covering eventual mistakes and/or omissions, as
well as bad faith during the procedure, a cancellation procedure is
provided which at any case has only an -ex nunc- effect, i.e. after a
final decision will be issued, which lasts long before been issued and
does not surprises the registered proprietor.
1.4. A quick procedure has been provided before the Ordinary Civil
Courts to grand a proper protection against infringements without the
burden of proof of the likelihood of confusion on identical marks and
2. Link of the trade
mark to the Proprietor
2.1. The previous legislation used to consider the likelihood of
confusion as a matter of public order and the link between the trade
mark and the proprietor was very strong, with the exception of the
user's agreement, the parallel application and the collective marks,
which nevertheless were allowed after severe control of the Committee.
Under the new legislation the likelihood of confusion is a private
matter falling under the discretion of the proprietor.
As a consequence to that :
A letter of consent is for the first time acceptable in this
country and focuses similar marks, once for the identical a user's
agreement can be granted.
2.1.2. The transfer of the trade mark has been absolutely disconnected
from the enterprise. The simultaneous transfer of the goodwill lies
absolutely on the discretion of the contractual parties.
2.1.3. The spirit of the new law is that the proprietor is registering a
trade mark either to use it personally, or to grant the use to somebody
else by recording a user's agreement with the right of sub-license.
Without a recorded user's agreement nobody else, apart from the
proprietor, may use the trade mark even with the consent of the
Therefore it is allowed the marks to be centralised to holding
companies, which may grand licence agreements to the producing
Thus the trade mark is not necessarily committed with the operational
risk of an operating company and does not follow its risks.
2.1.4. I have to notice here, that a user's agreement with the relevant
operating companies has to be recorded, otherwise the trade mark runs
the risk to be cancelled on the ground of non use.
2.1.5. A numerous of procedural items following the fifty five years
experience have been satisfactorily regulated to facilitate the easy
going of such a complicated matter.
3. Powers of attorney.
It is especially worthwhile to mention, that the powers of attorney for
all acts and procedures before the Committee need no legalisation any
more. A simple signature is sufficient.
But we have to make clear that :
a) All deeds and certificates need an apostille (Hague Convention 1961)
b) The powers of attorney for attending Hearings before the Ordinary
Administrative Tribunals need an apostille.
1. A letter of consent on similar trade marks (not identical) is
2. For the recorda of a parallel application or a user's (licence)
agreement no severe economical link is required. The Committee checks
only the issue of “public interest” or “confusion of the public”.
3. The user's agreement may be either absolute or not and a sub-licence
may be granted.
4. The licensee may be authorised to initiate infringement actions in
his own name.
5. The trade marks are transferred with or without the goodwill.
6. Perhaps the most practically important is that the powers of attorney
for any acts before the Committee (normal procedure leading to
registration) do not need any legalisation if issued as from the
01.11.1994 and onwards.
All the rest deeds and certificates need an apostille.
7. The mark needs to be used within five years from the date of
registration. The mark is not “ipso jure” cancelled, but only after a
petition of cancellation filed by person having a legal interest. The
lack of genuine use is to be proved, but the Committee may reverse the
burden of proof.