AmCham Macedonia 1/2019 - Page 16

COVER STORY The New IPR Challenge for Macedonian Companies Valentin Pepeljugoski, Ph.D., Attorney at Law & European Patent Attorney Law Office Pepeljugoski T he start of the negotiations for accession in the EU will bring new challenge to the Macedonian enterprises regarding the protection of the intellectual property rights (IPRs). Namely, in the period before and after becoming member to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the eyes of the foreign companies, experts, and institutions were intensively focused on the IPRs regime, especially our weakest link, the enforcement. In the period to come we will be witnessing even more extensive screening of the protection of the IPRs. In that respect, beside the regulation, the relevant directorates and commissionaires in the EU will be concentrated towards the capacities of the authorized institutions for enforcement of the regulations, especially the inspectorate, the public prosecutors, and the judiciary. As far as the legislation is concerned, we do not expect major activities in the fields of patent, trademarks, industrial deigns, and the geographical indications. However, major amendment or supplement will be assumed in the field of copyright law, especially in the field of media rights and collective enforcement of rights. The latter will presumably cause problems, due to the fact that the already announced amendments in the Law on copyright and related rights are already one year overdue. Dynamic Changes in Europe’s IPR Legislation It is important to note that the legislation activity regarding the IPRs in the EU is very dynamic and current, due to the fact that it is an area 16 EMERGING MACEDONIA that undergoes constant changes caused by the development of new technologies. Currently, we are witnessing the passing of the legislation for Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court. On the other hand, in the scope of the European patent organization, there are organizational and physical changes, with the division of the European patent office and the Board of Appeal. The strengthening of the role of the Board of Appeal requires reform towards strengthening its managing autonomy, the perception of its independence, and the new efficiency in the performance. In the trademark area the changes of the Community Trademark Regulation brought changes in the graphical representation, the new certificated trademarks of the EU were introduced and also certain aspects of the recognition procedure were adjusted (priority request, distinctiveness request as subsidiary, appeal/ cancelation procedure, online communication, languages and translation). The Unitary Patent will be available for each individual, legal or physical person regardless if it originates from Europe or not and regardless of whether its country of origin participates in the scheme or not. The benefit of the Unitary European System is great for the inventor, but also for the holders of patents, researchers, universities, and SMEs, but mostly for the pharmaceutical industry which is one of the major consumers of the global and regional IPRs protection systems. The Decisions of the European Patent Office in respect of the Unitary Patent can be appealed in front of the Unified