New Law on Customs Measures approved

On December 29 2009 the Parliament of Kosovo approved the Law on Customs Measures for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights. The new law will enter into force 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosovo following its ratification by the president of Kosovo, which is expected within the next few weeks.

The new law replaces the Regulation Implementing Customs Measures Regarding Goods Infringing Intellectual Property Rights, and brings Kosovan legislation in line with the corresponding EU laws.

The new law clearly benefits IP rights holders. Under the law, IP rights holders are not required to bring court proceedings to obtain the destruction of counterfeit or pirated goods, as long as the importer consents to it.

In addition, the new law does not explicitly provide for the obligation to submit certificates of registration with customs applications. This represents a significant improvement, as the Patent and Trademark Office would be unable to issue the necessary certificates of registration promptly, due to the extremely high volume of applications received since its opening in November 2007.

Finally, in the absence of a certificate of registration, the IP rights owner may obtain protection from the customs authorities through other means set forth by the new law (eg, the owner may argue that its mark is well known).

Florentina Grubi, SDP KOSOVE, Pristina

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