Trade and Service Marks
– Law on Trademarks of October 10, 2000, in force since January 1, 2001, amended on October 22, 2002, February 19, 2004, June 8, 2006, November 8, 2012, March 30, 2017 and June 29, 2017 (entered into force on May 1, 2018, except Article 3, which entered into force on July 12, 2017).Law on Trademarks of October 10, 2000, in force since January 1, 2001, amended on October 22, 2002, February 19, 2004, June 8, 2006, November 8, 2012, March 30, 2017, June 29, 2017 (entered into force on May 1, 2018, except Article 3, which entered into force on July 12, 2017), and December 4, 2018 (entered into force on January 1, 2019).
Membership in International Conventions
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since April 30, 1992.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since May 22, 1994.
– Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, since February 22, 1997.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since July 19, 1997.
– Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, since November 15, 1997.
– Trademark Law Treaty (for uniform registration procedures), since April 27, 1998.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since May 31, 2001.
– European Union Trade Mark Regulation.
– Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, since August 14, 2013.
Applicant: any natural person or legal entity or their group who filed an application.
Foreigners: foreign nationals who are not permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania, or another member State of the European Union, or another European Economic Area, and legal persons of foreign States who do not have a subsidiary or representative registered in the Republic of Lithuania, or another member State of the European Union, or another European Economic Area, shall file applications to the State Patent Bureau and perform all actions relating to the registration of the mark with the State Patent Bureau, including also representation at the Appeals Division, through a patent attorney of the Republic of Lithuania.
Service marks: registrable.
Kind of protection: individual, collective and certification marks. Any signs, in particular words, including personal names, or designs, letters, numerals, colors, the shape of goods (as well as three-dimensional forms) or of the packaging of goods, or sounds are registrable.
Not registrable: signs which (1) have no distinctive character; (2) have become customary in the current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade; (3) consists 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, the mode of production or other characteristics of the goods and/or services; (4) the sign is of such a nature as to mislead the public, for instance as to the nature, quality or geographical origin of the goods and/or services; (5) the sign is contrary to accepted principles of morality or public policy; (6) the sign consists exclusively of the shape which results from the nature 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; (7) the mark consists of or contains the official symbols of the Republic of Lithuania, or it imitates them, unless the permission has been issued according to the established procedure by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, also the mark consists of other coats of arms or other insignias under the Law on the National Coat of Arms, Coat of Arms, and Other Insignias of the Republic of Lithuania, or is composed of or contains distinguishing marks of the public institutions the official use of which is governed by the law, unless consent has been obtained from the competent authorities; (8) the sign consists of signs the registration of which has not been authorized by the competent authorities of other States or International Organizations and the registration of which is to be refused or invalidated pursuant to Article 6ter of the Paris Convention; (9) it is a sign of high symbolic value, in particular a religious symbol; (10) it must be excluded from registration pursuant to European Union legislation or international agreements to which the European Union is a party, providing for protection of traditional terms for wine; (11) it must be excluded from registration pursuant to European Union legislation or international agreements to which the European Union or the Republic of Lithuania is a party, providing for protection of designations of origin and geographical indications; (12) it must be excluded from registration pursuant to European Union legislation or international agreements to which the European Union is party, providing for protection of traditional specialties guaranteed; (13) it consists of, or reproduce in their essential elements, an earlier plant variety denomination registered in accordance with European Union legislation or the Law on the Protection of Plant Varieties of the Republic of Lithuania, or international agreements to which the European Union or the Republic of Lithuania is a party, providing protection for plant variety rights, and which is in respect of plant varieties of the same or closely related species.
Registration of a mark shall be declared invalid if the mark is: (1) identical with an earlier mark, and the goods and/or services for which the mark is registered are identical with the goods and/or services for which the earlier mark is applied for or is registered; (2) identical with or similar to the earlier mark and because of the identity or similarity of the goods and/or services covered by the marks there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public; the likelihood of confusion includes the likelihood of association with the earlier mark; (3) it is identical with or similar to an earlier trademark irrespective of whether the goods or services for which it is applied for or registered are identical with, similar to or not similar to those for which the earlier trademark is registered, where the earlier trademark has a reputation in the Republic of Lithuania or, in the case of an EU trademark, has a reputation in the European Union and the use of the later trademark without due cause would take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character or the repute of the earlier trademark; (4) identical with a mark recognized as well-known in the Republic of Lithuania in the manner prescribed by Article 8 of the Law on Trademarks; (5) an agent or representative, or a patent attorney of the proprietor of the trademark applies for registration thereof in his own name without the proprietor's authorization, unless the agent or patent attorney justifies his action.
Priorities: in accordance with the Paris Convention.
Territory covered: the Republic of Lithuania.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. A request for the registration of a mark and issuance of the trademark certificate, signed by the applicant or his representative;
2. Power of attorney, if application is filed by an authorized person;
3. A document confirming priority under paragraph 3 of Article 40 of the Law (where appropriate);
4. A permit issued by competent authorities under subparagraphs 8, 9 and 10 of paragraph 1 of Article 7 of the Law (where appropriate);
5. Regulations governing the use of a collective mark (where appropriate);
6. A document certifying the right of the applicant to perform the certification function when filing an application for registration of a guarantee or certification mark;
7. Consent of the owner of the rights according to paragraph 4 of Article 8 of the Law on Trademarks (where appropriate).
Electronic filing: from September 30, 2014 a new Order from the Director of the State Patent Bureau on the rules of electronic filing of documents came into force. The Order establishes new procedures to file trademark applications online and other related documents.
After a formal examination of the application documents,the State Patent Bureau grants a filing date and number. Having conducted an examination of the application, the State Patent Bureau carries out an examination of the mark with a view to ascertaining whether or not it satisfies the absolute grounds for refusal of registration or invalidation of a mark. If the State Patent Bureau considers that a mark does not meet the requirements of the law, it shall reject the application and notify the applicant. The applicant has the right, within two months, to argue against this decision.
Review: if, after reexamination, the application is still refused, the applicant can, within two months, file a request to review with the Division of Appeals of the State Patent Bureau.
Appeal: can be lodged against the decision of the Division of Appeals, within three months, before the Vilnius County Court.
Amendments of application: additional materials modifying the claimed sign are not acceptable. The list of goods or services may be limited.
Granting and Opposition
Granting: is registered in the Register of Trade Marks of the Republic of Lithuania.
Publication: in the Official Bulletin of the State Patent Bureau.
Opposition: may be filed by any interested person within three months from the publication (three months after publication in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks, for international registrations), after payment of the fee, with the Division of Appeals. The holder of the registration or his representative is given right to submit his observations within two months from sending the opposition. A decision of the Division of Appeals can be appealed before the Vilnius County Court.
A registration certificate is issued if no opposition has been filed or the opposition is rejected or the decision of the Appeals Division made in respect of this mark has not been appealed to a court.
Duration of protection: ten years from the filing date.
Renewal: for further ten-year periods. The request for renewal has to be filed within the last six months of the term of registration. Grace period: six months subject to a surcharge of 50%.
Use: in case of non-use without justifying reasons during five consecutive years, the trademark may be revoked in judicial proceedings at the request of any interested person.
Modification of Protection after Registration
License: the proprietor of a mark may issue to a third party a voluntary exclusive or non-exclusive license for marking some or all goods and/or services for which it is registered and for the whole or part of the Republic of Lithuania.
Assignment: the right to a mark applied for or a registered mark may be transferred in respect of some or all of the goods or services for which it is registered. It must be registered.
Invalidation: the registration may be invalidated by a court upon request of any interested person if it does not comply with the law. The registration can also be cancelled if it is proved that the mark has been registered on bad faith.
Compulsory license: provided for.
Infringement: unauthorized exploitation or any other kind of marketing of products bearing a protected sign constitutes infringement of the right of the trademark owner. The court may adopt a decision on the reparation of damages and re-establishing the situation that existed before the infringement or recovering losses. Penal responsibility for infringement is provided for in the relevant laws of the Republic of Lithuania.
Customs enforcement: in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No. 608/2013 of June 12, 2013, concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003, customs will seize goods at the Lithuanian borders, if it is suspected that they infringe registered trademarks, or any other intellectual property rights.
European Union Trademark (EUTM) Conversion
Filing requirements – time limit: according to paragraph 182 of the Trademark Regulation, within six months from reception at the Lithuanian State Patent Bureau of EUIPO documents in relation to the conversion application, the applicant or his/her representative must submit the following documents to the State Patent Bureau of the Republic of Lithuania:
1. Data confirming the payment of the national application fee;
2. A translation of the documents related to the conversion into Lithuanian;
3. The image of the trademark (and its copies);
4. The authorization (if needed);
5. The application to register the mark.
Note: if the above-mentioned documents are not received within the specified six months, the application shall be deemed as not having been submitted.
Validity: irrespective of the actual filing date of the EUTM, the validity in Lithuania can only begin on May 1, 2004 (when Lithuania became a member of the European Union).