November 1, 2016
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Kosovo: On the Road to a New Trademark Law
Earlier this year, the members of four INTA committees (the Enforcement Committee, Anticounterfeiting Committee, Trademark Office Practices Committee, and Legislation and Regulation Committee, Europe and Central Asia Subcommittee) created a Cross Subcommittee Task Force group called the “Kosovo group.” The group’s objective was to respond to the needs of the Kosovo authorities who, following the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, reached out to INTA for assistance in drafting and delivering a modern, efficient, and EU-harmonized trademark law.
The primary goal of the task force, which counts 17 members and is led by Jacqueline Patt (Markery Law, LLC, USA), was to analyze the existing Kosovo Trademark Law and to provide feedback and recommendations for the update and improvement of these provisions. The task force also kept in mind the applicable EU IP protection standards, as the SAA obliges Kosovo to harmonize their trademark legislation with the EU Trademark Directive.
The current trademark law in Kosovo entered into force in 2011 and saw minimal changes in 2015. This law served as a starting point for the INTA group of experts working on the task force. The task force was divided into five smaller groups and each one of the teams was responsible for one chapter or group of provisions of the existing law: (1) opposition; (2) revocation and licensing; (3) invalidity and appeals; (4) EUTM-related provisions; and (5) infringement and court protection.
The work at this first stage of the project has now been successfully completed. After carefully analyzing a great number of provisions of the law currently in force, the task force has managed to identify more than 100 recommendations for amendments to the existing law, which would transform it into a new, modern trademark law that would then serve as a model to the region.
In the second phase, which is about to begin, the group will hand over to its local members (the Kosovo Liaison Group), who are already working to identify the relevant state officials in Kosovo who will be presented with the group’s recommendations and possibly be interested in participating in a policy dialogue to promote the amended draft version in Kosovo.
INTA is hopeful that the input from its members will help to shape a progressive and effective piece of legislation protecting trademarks and thereby encouraging and supporting economic development in Kosovo.
Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.
© 2016 International Trademark Association