European Commission: Bosnia must improve IP rights enforcement

Bosnia and Herzegovina
As part of the European Commission’s Enlargement Package for 2010, which was adopted on November 9 2010, the commission has issued a progress report on Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of which concerns IP rights. According to the report, some progress has been made with the adoption of IP laws, but the enforcement of IP rights still needs to be improved.

The report highlights that progress has been made in the area of intellectual, industrial and commercial property rights. State-level laws have been adopted in the following fields:
  • patents;
  • trademarks;
  • topographies of integrated circuits;
  • geographical indications;
  • industrial designs;
  • copyright and related rights; and
  • the collective management of copyright.
The report also shows that the number of patent applications has increased. The average time needed to process a patent application has decreased from five to two years, while for trademark applications, the average time has decreased from four to two-and-a-half years.

On a less positive note, the report mentions that there are high levels of counterfeiting and piracy in Bosnia - the country continues to be a point of distribution of unlicensed material to the rest of Europe. The report also states that an action plan for capacity building needs to be prepared, and that the coordination among enforcement bodies at various levels is still inadequate. Finally, the report notes that further efforts are required to strengthen the administrative and enforcement capacity of Bosnia’s Institute for Intellectual Property.

Alma Vilic, PETOŠEVIC, Sarajevo

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