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06 Oct 2020

The European Commission 2020 report on North Macedonia on Intellectual property law

As is tradition on this site below is the segment from the European Commission 2020 report on North Macedonia on Intellectual property law. It feels like more-or-less the same text as in previous years.

Chapter 7: Intellectual property law

The EU has harmonised rules for the legal protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), and 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.

North Macedonia remains moderately prepared in this area. There was some progress with raising awareness about the fight against counterfeiting, smuggling and import of counterfeit goods including an increase of seized goods. The recommendations from 2019 were not fully implemented and remain valid. In the coming year, North Macedonia should in particular:

  • establish an information platform for law enforcement institutions to exchange data on IPRs;

  • further improve the legal framework on intellectual property, notably the collective rights management system, by aligning with the Collective Rights Management Directive and the industrial property rights by aligning with the Enforcement Directive and with the Trade Secrets Directive.

Amendments to the legal framework on copyright and neighbouring rights to protect the rights of those concerned have been further delayed. Consequently, authors’ rights are still managed by only one organisation, the Association of Music Artists Rights, issuing collective management licenses. However, under the current legal framework parallel organisations collect fees from authors without an authorisation from the Ministry of Culture. The relevant unit in the Ministry remains understaffed.

For industrial property rights, the State Office for Industrial Property has further intensified its cooperation with the EU Intellectual Property Office, maintaining good cooperation with the European Patent Office and with the World Intellectual Property Office. This cooperation raises awareness about counterfeit goods and facilitates exchanges of good practices on enforcing of IPRs.

Some key activities planned under the current strategy on industrial property rights did not take place. The Law on industrial property is still not aligned with the EU acquis on trade secrets, which further increases companies’ mistrust.

The absence of an information platform for law enforcement bodies to exchange IPR-related data is an obstacle to the creation of a credible enforcement record and to gathering reliable statistics on the institutional handling of IPR infringements. The coordination body for the protection of intellectual property has not been established.

The fight against counterfeiting and piracy and protection of right-holders’ rights has advanced somewhat. The country’s track record for seizing counterfeit goods produced nationally as well as imported from Turkey and China has improved.