Which aspects of your work do you enjoy most and why?
I would emphasise two special aspects of my work: the diversity of the people I collaborate with and the dynamic rhythm of my daily routine. I find working with clients that come from different industries and parts of the world deeply inspiring. It is exciting to learn about their interests and look for creative solutions to satisfy their needs. What is more, I particularly enjoy heading an excellent team of highly skilled practitioners. It is a true pleasure to lead such a group of IP enthusiasts. The challenges that we face together on a daily basis foster my own passion for the industry.
How does your firm remain cutting-edge in its offerings?
One of our key priorities is investing in the personal and professional development of team members. Truly caring about the constant improvement of our skills and knowledge brings exclusivity to the quality of services that we offer. Not only do we follow the latest trends and developments in the IP world, but we actively participate in setting new standards in practice. This helps us to recognise and anticipate clients’ needs precisely and efficiently. Our careful selection of extraordinary practitioners ensures creativity and experience – with such a combination, the cutting-edge results come naturally.
What are the biggest enforcement challenges currently facing European rights holders?
Setting aside the budget constraints that European rights holders are facing due to the covid-19 crisis, obtaining efficient and fair reimbursement for IP infringement remains the biggest challenge. There is an unreasonable disproportion between the damages that rights holders suffer and the efficiency of mechanisms for protecting their rights. Shifting the focus of trade to online markets has brought significant challenges in the enforcement field. Although it seems simple to obtain injunctions and deactivate an infringing offer through the available technical measures, it is difficult to reach end infringers and obtain fair compensation for the damage suffered. The expansion of online trade fostered by a high number of imports from Asia remains one of the most significant problems faced by European rights holders.
How do you see the European enforcement landscape evolving in the coming years?
AI is a promising development for the enforcement mechanisms available to European rights holders. There are encouraging predictions on its influence and expected contribution to the effectiveness of enforcement authorities; faster searches, easier communication, precise selection and proper identification are only some of the improvements that we all look forward to.
Another important improvement relates to the special IP units formed within general enforcement authorities, as well as better multi-jurisdictional networking and harmonisation between them. The latter is especially true for Balkan countries, whose authorities are still rather young when it comes to IP expertise. The new attention that this field is receiving is creating a reason to be optimistic about enforcement in the region.
If you could make one change to global IP practice, what would it be and why?
I would insist on the higher unification of standards of IP protection on a global level, including better accessibility to case law, more harmonised legislation and greater inclusion of rights holders in drafting and creating rules. I believe that intellectual property is one of the first fields that should adhere and adapt to the evolving globalisation process, offering a unified and predictable system of protection in different parts of the world.
Djura Mijatovic is a managing partner at ZMP Zivko Mijatovic & Partners. He is a qualified barrister at law and European trademark and design attorney. For the past 20 years he has specialised in the protection and enforcement of trademarks in Eastern and Central Europe, as well as the European Union. As managing partner, Mr Mijatovic oversees the work of the entire network of ZMP offices throughout Europe.