Having recently mentioned developments in Montenegro, the IPKat has been inspired by the recent email newsletter from Balkan-based S D Petosevic to bring some news of nearby Kosovo. The newsletter reads, in part:
"As Kosovo gets ready for what they hope are the last decisive steps towards something resembling independence, it is getting its institutions ready to act autonomously. UN Envoy Martti Ahtisaari has promised to present the proposed settlement package on Kosovo by the end of January. It will be left for the six-nation Contact Group to endorse it and for the UN Security Council to pass a new resolution transferring powers to Kosovo’s Government.If you need to know more, the IPKat suggests you contact Kathryn Szymczyk or Slobodan Petosevic directly. He can't help feeling some sympathy with IP owners who obtained pan-Yugoslavian patent and trade mark protection, only to find that their rights were repeatedly parcelled into smaller units, adding to their administrative and management costs but without conferring any additional benefit in terms of policing or enforcement. Merpel says, the fragmentation of Eastern Europe is a strong argument in favour of supporting the European Patent system as it now stands, but a stronger one for introducing the controversial Community patent (which would now cover 27 countries, but not yet Kosovo or most of ex-Yugoslavia).
In the meantime, Kosovo is prepared to establish its Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). ... [B]oth Patent and Trademark Laws have been passed by the Assembly of Kosovo and endorsed by the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG).The laws provide that only patents and trademarks registered in Kosovo would be valid in that jurisdiction. However, a PTO was yet to be established. Amendments to the Patent Law transferring the authority to the Ministry of Trade and Industry to establish the PTO were before the Assembly on December 18, 2006 and expect to be passed. It will remain for the SRSG to endorse the law. Once that happens, we are told that the PTO will be shortly established and contacts within the Ministry of Trade and Industry have indicated that there will be some sort of process instituted whereby trademarks and patents registered in Serbia will be permitted to be revalidated in Kosovo.
The process will be similar to the one that the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) pursued after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. In fact, officials from Kosovo are scheduled to go to the Macedonian Patent and Trademark Office in January 2007 to receive training to assist them in instituting the re-validation process. It is likely that IP rights holders will have a 6-12 month period within which to re-validate their Serbian rights".
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