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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
Fidel Porcuna
Gino Van Roeyen
Markku Tuominen
Niamh Hall
Nikos Prentoulis
Stefan Schröter
Tomasz Rychlicki
Yvonne Onomor
Greece: Localism and a new breed of absolute ground

The almost 2-year old revision of the Greek law on trademarks has, among others, seen the introduction of the Hellenic Trademark, an ‘optional’ quality trademark that businesses may register to use for products and/or services of Greek origin. While this localism project is gradually taking off with the finalization of the selection of the logo for the Hellenic Trademark and some progress on the detailed requirements for its use per category of goods/services, another aspect of the project has required the attention of the Greek TM Office.

It appears that, whether intentionally or not, certain businesses may try to register marks that could be associated with the Hellenic Trademark. Under a recent decision, one of the Examiners  rejected the mark MY GREEK PRODUCT & device for Class 35 services relating to advertsing and organization of exhibitions on the ground that it may mislead consumers into thinking its owner is affiliated with the Greek State or is somehow endorsed in the context of the Hellenic Trademark project.

So it seems that the Hellenic Trademark forms a hybrid absolute ground for refusal, incrorporated in the classic "misleading" ground of refusal. There is a lesson to be drawn for businesses seeking to legitimately capitalize on the localism trend the financialis crisis has ignited in Greece: There is a fine line, or even a bit of quick and, between marketing the Greek origin of one's products / services and being associated with the relevant state - public initiative.

Posted by: Nikos Prentoulis @ 21.01
Tags: Greece, localism, Hellenic Trademark, absolute grounds, deceptive, misleading,
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