The European Commision 2018 report on Macedonia

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I'm posting the EC report on Copyright and Industrial property rights in Macedonia every year for the past 9 years (although it seems there was no report in 2017 because of the Macedonian political crisis). Here is the latest. For the full text visit the ec.europa.eu site [link to file in PDF].

5.7. Chapter 7: Intellectual property law

The EU has harmonised rules for the legal protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs), as well as rules for the legal protection of copyright and related rights. Rules for the legal protection of IPRs cover, for instance, patents and trademarks, designs, biotechnological inventions and pharmaceuticals. Rules for the legal protection of copyright and related rights cover, for instance, books, films, computer programmes and broadcasting.

The country is moderately prepared in this area. Some progress, although limited, was made in improving the legal framework on copyright and on protected designation of quality.

In the coming year, the country should in particular continue to:

  • step up efforts to investigate and prosecute infringements of intellectual property;
  • strengthen the collective management system;
  • improve coordination among the law enforcement institutions, establishing an information platform for exchange of data and raise public awareness on the importance of protecting
    intellectual property rights according to EU best practices.

As regards copyright and related rights, following the licence revocation in 2016, the collective management of related rights exists only for music rights. The fees for the rights that are owed by the phonogram producers are no longer collected. The unit responsible in the Ministry of Culture remains understaffed. Both national and international cooperation remains very limited.

In the area of industrial rights, the State Office for Industrial Property continued the strategic cooperation with the European Patent Office, the World Intellectual Property Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The 2016-2018 strategy on industrial property was adopted following delays but without an update of the relevant action plan, which risks undermining its credibility. Information campaigns were launched on the threats that counterfeit goods can cause to public health. However, their organisation lacked ownership
and relied heavily on donor-funding. The State Office for Industrial Property declined to set up the information platform for the exchange of IPR-related data among law enforcement institutions. There are still challenges as regards providing good quality services to the public.

Infringements of intellectual property rights are frequent, but the absence of reliable statistics on their handling by the law enforcement institutions prevents a credible enforcement record from being established. Measures taken by the Coordination Body for Intellectual Property are rare and mostly target infringement of trademarks. This body lacks political support and its funding remains insufficient to fulfil its mandate, raise public awareness or educate the right-holders about the importance of intellectual property rights.