Macedonia Adopts Amendments to Industrial Property Law
On February 23, 2011, the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia ratified amendments to the Law on Industrial Property, which came into force on March 5, 2011.
The primary reason for amending the Law on Industrial Property is that, as of recently, the Law on Quality of Agricultural Products regulates Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for agricultural and dairy products. Thus, the provisions for protection of such products had to be removed from the Law on Industrial Property; other products with PDO and PGI remain under the scope of the Law on Industrial Property.
Another significant change concerns the State Market Inspectorate’s enforcement activities. The Law on Industrial Property now obligates the State Market inspectors to temporarily detain counterfeit goods placed on the market, while the old law did not clearly specify what was to be done with the counterfeits on the market. Instead of detaining the goods, the inspectors often issued orders for these goods to be removed from the market, but the goods were not destroyed and their fate was unknown.
The amendments introduce the possibility of out-of-court settlement.
The fines for infringers have been reduced and now range from EUR 700 (USD 975) to EUR 6,000 (USD 8,353); the maximum fine before the amendments was EUR 8,000 (USD 11,132).
The amendments also affect patent regulations. The national patent applicants now have 12 months from the application date to notify the IPO how the substantive examination will be conducted. Prior to the amendments, they were obligated to do this within six months. The notification period has been extended to correspond to the notification period when filing international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
For more information, please contact Zivka Kostovska-Stojkovska at our Macedonia office.
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