Bad Faith Registrations in Bosnia Persist Despite New Law
Until recently, Bosnia had only one law on IP rights, the Law on Industrial Property, which entered into force on August 27, 2002 and covered patents, trademarks, designs and geographical indications and designations of origin. The Law, which was in force until January 1, 2011, had no provisions regarding bad faith trademark applications.
Bad faith applications were therefore tolerated and a large number of well-known global brand names passed into the hands of local counterfeit sellers. Legal remedies available in these situations were limited. Bosnian PTO did not recognize bad faith as one of the grounds for cancellation, prosecutors refused to pursue bad faith cases claiming there was no criminal intent and the civil courts were reluctant in issuing decisions in unfair competition claims.
The new Law on Trademarks, in force as of January 1, 2011, listed bad faith as one of the relative grounds for cancellation. However, without the actual use of the mark in Bosnia, it will be difficult to prove bad faith, especially with the PTO that has traditionally favored the local companies.
The most notorious example of this practice is the case of EKOSAN, an importer of textile products from China and Turkey, located in Banja Luka, northwestern Bosnia. The company registered almost 200 trademarks that belong to well-known apparel companies and requested customs monitoring. The company then managed to prohibit import attempts by other companies, including the actual owners of the marks. Among the trademarks EKOSAN registered are brands that are well known globally, but without any local presence, marketing or campaign in Bosnia. The company has even started to register some of the well-known marks in other countries in the region.
Should you require any checks done with regards to whether your own brand is owned by EKOSAN, please contact Tarik Prolaz at our Bosnia office.
January 2011 News
- Bad Faith Registrations in Bosnia Persist Despite New Law
- New Montenegrin Design Law Gives 12-Month Deadline to Owners
- Ukraine Steps up UEFA Protection Ahead of Euro 2012 Soccer Championship
- Bosnia Adopts Rules on Industrial Property Registration Procedures
- Lithuania Adopts Amendments to Patent Law
- Kazakhstan Drafts Two New IP Laws
- Latvia Amends Administrative Violations Code IP Provisions
- Croatia Fights Counterfeiting
- Macedonian Authorities Destroy Counterfeit CDs, Cigarettes, Alcohol
- Bulgarian Police Seize USD 1,000,000 Worth of Counterfeit Luxury Items
- Warehouse for Counterfeit Sneaker Production Discovered in Serbia
- Macedonian Customs Detain Gucci, Kappa, D&G Counterfeits
- Romanian Customs Seize EUR 485,000 Worth of Counterfeits
- Macedonia Registers First International Appellations of Origin
- Macedonian Translation of Ninth Edition of Nice Classification Released
- Russia and Finland Launch Patent Prosecution Highway
- Czech IPO Introduces Changes Concerning Official Fee Payment
- Uzbekistan SPO Announces Changes in Patent Fee Payment in National Currency
- Hungarian IPO Changes Name
- Kosovo PTO Launches its First IP Gazette