Title: Enlargement of European Union and shrinking of trademark rights: case of Slovenia

Authors: Zdenka Zenko, Jure Marn

Addresses: University of Maribor, Faculty of Business and Economics, Razlagova 14, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia. ' University of Maribor, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Smetanova 17, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia

Abstract: On May 1, 2004, over two hundred thousand of community trademarks will become automatically valid in Slovenia and other new member states to the European Union. The authors envision and present three classes of possible problems, which are analysed using hypothetical examples based on actual trademark filings. Study of trademarks of all (i.e., 97) over-the-counter publicly traded corporations at Ljubljana stock exchange is presented. It is found that nearly 60% of all OTC listed companies have no national trademarks, over 80% have no trademarks registered via the Madrid Agreement/Protocol, and only 1% have CTM registrations, and all of that despite the fact that number of trademark filings in Slovenia by Slovenian corporations and residents is rising exponentially. In contrast, over 21% of all (i.e., 32) regularly listed companies at Ljubljana stock exchange have no national trademarks, more than 56% have no trademarks registered via Madrid Agreement, and only 7% applied or registered CTMs. The work concludes with simple algorithm which was constructed to help OTC corporation management to understand the magnitude of the problem and to aid in their decision making process.

Keywords: industrial property; community trademarks; innovation management; Slovenia; EU enlargement; European Union.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2005.006030

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2005 Vol.2 No.1, pp.65 - 92

Published online: 23 Jan 2005 *

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