Croatian Commercial Courts Launch Conciliation Proceedings Initiative for IP Disputes
On March 15, 2006, Croatian commercial courts launched implementation of the project titled “Strengthening conciliation proceedings as an alternative dispute resolution method.” This project is geared towards more effective resolution of intellectual property disputes that are on the rise in Croatia.
The project is part of the PHARE program, which is the main channel for the European Union’s financial and technical cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
The primary objective of this pilot project is to reduce the amount of backlogged cases at the courts, as well as to promote conciliation proceedings as means of efficient and cost effective dispute resolution.
For purposes of conciliation proceedings, the original jurisdiction of commercial courts extends to the following matters:
Conciliation of disputes arising out of commercial contracts and disputes for compensation of damages arising out of these contracts between the parties performing commercial activities;
Conciliation of disputes concerning the violation of intellectual property rights, protection and use of inventions and of company name;
Conciliation of disputes concerning the act of unfair competition, monopolistic agreements and violation of the company’s integrity on the Croatian market
The mediation and conciliation procedure is voluntary and is subject to an agreement between disputed parties. One or more independent conciliators will be appointed to the proceeding to assist parties in reaching a compromise agreement.
If the conciliation proceeding fails and the parties do not reach an amicable solution regarding the dispute within the period of 60 (sixty) days, the parties will be allowed to continue with the court proceeding before the commercial court.
The conciliation proceeding is available to local and foreign natural persons and legal entities established under the national or foreign laws in all disputes over the rights that they may freely dispose of.
For more information, please contact Anamarija Stancic Petrovic
in our Croatia office.