European Commission: Bosnia making progress in IP area

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In October 2012 the European Commission issued a report on the progress made by Bosnia and Herzegovina in preparing for EU membership. According to the report, some progress has been made over the past year in the area of intellectual property.

Following the adoption of new IP laws, implementing regulations have also been adopted. The capacity of the Bosnian Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has been strengthened and the IPO has continued to raise awareness of the importance of IP rights.

Further, the Vienna Agreement establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks and the Patent Law Treaty entered into force. The International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants has yet to be implemented.

Some progress has also been made in the field of enforcement. Five decrees aiming to regulate the implementation procedure for customs measures intended for the protection of IP rights have entered into force. Over the last year, the Customs Sector of the Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia seized counterfeit goods worth approximately €20,000 ($26,000). The goods were destroyed in 12 out of 18 cases, and six lawsuits were filed.

In March 2012 the Bosnian authorities launched a campaign to increase market inspections, with the aim of discovering and confiscating illegal software, and of educating the public about the importance of IP protection. As a result, more than 1,000 companies have started using licensed software. However, high rates of counterfeiting and piracy still persist across the country, so further efforts are still required in this area.

Finally, a reliable system for collecting, analysing and exchanging data among various institutions involved in IP protection needs to be developed. Enforcement and coordination between all stakeholders must still be improved.

Alma Vilic, PETOŠEVIC, Sarajevo 

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