Customs watch applications might be cancelled under new law

The amendments to Macedonia’s Law on Customs Measures for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights entered into force on October 11 2011.

One of the most significant changes is the possibility for the Macedonian customs authorities to cancel a customs watch application that had previously been granted if the trademark owner violates the statutory provisions.

Until now, if the trademark owner failed to confirm that the seized goods were counterfeit within the 10-day time limit, the customs authorities released the goods. According to the amended law, temporarily seized goods suspected of being counterfeit may be released only if the trademark owner certifies that the goods are not counterfeit.

However, if the trademark owner fails to notify the customs authorities that the goods infringed IP rights within the given deadline, the customs watch application may be cancelled. In that case, the trademark owner loses the right to file a customs watch application for the same trademark for a period of one year.

This change is in line with the longstanding policy of zero tolerance promoted by Macedonian Customs.

Zivka Kostovska-Stojkovska, PETOŠEVIC, Skopje  

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