Readers may find the title of this post odd, but Greece has separate Trademark and Patent Offices for some 30 years, namely as from 1987 when the Greek Patent Office was (re)established as a ‘stand-alone’ private law entity owned by the Greek State. The Trademark Office remained a “classic” department of the Greek public administration, the Industrial Property Directorate, under the General Secretariat of Commerce and Consumer.
Now, under law 4796/2021 (arts. 33-54), published on 17 April 2021, the competence and functions of the Greek Trademark Office have been transferred to OBI.
Discussions, arguments and counter-arguments, about the possibility of consolidating the Patent and the Trademark Office to a single entity, usually aimed at placing the Trademark Office under OBI’s wings have been surfacing for several years. In fact, the legal basis allowing OBI to assume the operation of the Trademark was foreseen in the law constituting OBI in 1987.
As far as the “when” is concerned, the transition requires a Minsterial Decision confirming that the infrastructure transfer (commencing as from adoption of the law) is complete.
Presumably, the process would take some months, as this is not an easy exercise, both legally and operationally. On the plus side, both the OBI and the Industrial Property Directorate have tailored their IT infrastructure to EUIPO’s requirements.
Whether brand owners will reap benefits from this organizational change, when it effectively takes place, remains to be seen.