EC Commends Serbia’s Progress in IP Area
On October 10, 2012, the European Commission (EC) issued a report on Serbia’s progress in the process of European integration. According to the report, Serbia has made significant progress in the area of intellectual property, especially in harmonizing its IP legislation with the EU regulations.
The copyright law was amended in December 2011 to further align it with the EU legislation. The law on optical discs, designed to help combat piracy, was adopted in July 2011 and its implementing legislation in March 2012. The Commission for Copyright and Related Rights has begun to make decisions on compensation if copyright collectives and copyright users failed to reach an agreement on the fees.
The Law on Protection of Plant Breeders’ Rights was amended in November 2011, which enabled Serbia to begin the process of joining the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). Serbia is expected to become a member by the end of this year. The law on the protection of trade secrets entered into force in October 2011. The new patent law entered into force in January 2012. The law on topography of integrated circuits has yet to be harmonized with the EU legislation.
Some progress has been made in the field of IP rights enforcement, although better coordination and cooperation among various institutions in charge of IP protection is needed.
Serbian IPO has organized a significant number of trainings and events during the past 12 months that addressed the needs of all the key players in IP protection in Serbia.
Serbian Customs Administration has upgraded its IT infrastructure used in IP rights protection. The quantity of seized counterfeits increased. The administrative fee for submitting a request for enforcing IP rights with the Customs has been waived, which led to an increase in the number of filed requests.
The problem of inadequate storage space for counterfeit goods has been solved as the Market Inspectorate acquired twelve warehouses across Serbia. The number of goods that the Market Inspectorate seized in the first half of 2012 significantly increased compared to the 2011 data.
The report notes that the law on organization of courts needs to be amended to enable concentration of IP cases in a smaller number of the courts and to ensure specialization of prosecutors, judges and court panels handling IP cases.
Also, a solution for the long-term financial sustainability of the IPO has not been found yet.
Prepared by: Jelena Jankovic
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Source: Serbian IPO; Serbia 2012 Progress Report
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