INTA–Serbia Roundtable on IP Protection During the Pandemic

Published: December 9, 2020

Mara Jankovic

Mara Jankovic Mikijelj Jankovic & Bogdanovic Belgrade, Serbia INTA Bulletins—Europe Subcommittee

INTA and the Register of National Internet Domain Names of Serbia (RNIDS) held a roundtable on efforts to protect intellectual property during the COVID-19 pandemic, with speakers from a range of national agencies.

The speakers at the October 6 event highlighted several efforts, including criminal actions against counterfeiters, the launch of the new Department of Cyber Customs, innovations at the agency responsible for trade, and support from RNIDS.

Speakers included the director of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of Serbia as well as representatives of RNIDS, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Customs Administration, and the Market Inspectorate.

Milan Milojevic, a partner at MSA IP (Belgrade, Serbia), opened the roundtable on behalf of INTA with a brief introduction and an overview of past Association events held in Serbia. She also referenced the proliferation of counterfeiting during the COVID-19 pandemic, including statistics on counterfeit medical supplies.

The Director of the IPO and the head of the Coordination Body for Effective Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Serbia, Vladimir Maric, gave an overview of activities and achievements of the Coordination Body. The Coordination Body changed its modality of work, including how decisions are made, and became more operational in 2019. Its work, however, was stopped due to the global pandemic. Mr. Maric also gave a presentation on the Education and Information Center within the IPO. 

Presentations on developments in their agencies were made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Aleksandar Stanojević from the Department for Suppression of Intellectual Property Crime), the Customs Administration (Igor Jankovic, Head of the Department for Protection of Intellectual Property, and Nebojsa Andjelokovic, Head of the Intelligence Department), and the Market Inspectorate (Nebojša Devic, Head of the General Supervision Department in the Market Inspection).

All of the participants commented that they were pleased with the reactions of their institutions in the face of the challenge of the pandemic. Speakers highlighted the number of arrests, cases initiated, and the specific goods seized during the pandemic lockdown in Serbia from March to September. Mr. Jankovic gave an update on the new Department of Cyber Customs, which is still in the early stages after its formation in October 2018 but is showing positive results. This includes work the department was able to do to assist other departments within Customs—for example, working on import/export documents online, and not only looking for counterfeits. Mr. Devic gave a presentation on innovations within the Market Inspectorate, including new software solutions and new practices. Dejan Djukic from RNIDS explained the support RNIDS is providing to all stakeholders regarding national domain names.

The roundtable marked a continuation of a series of events on online counterfeiting organized by INTA in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia from 2013 to 2015. The initial events helped identify a need for close cooperation between government and non-government stakeholders to efficiently combat online counterfeiting. A direct result was the formation in 2014 of the Coordination Body.

The participants agreed that there is a need for this type of gathering, where practical solutions can be discussed with the relevant audience, and that INTA is a valuable bridge for this type of work.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

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