Assuming the EU and its member states ultimately ratify the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA see background), Serbia will have to follow suit as it will have become a full part of EU law, said Branka Totić, director of the Serbian Intellectual Property Office.
Totić dismissed fears that ACTA could lead to infringement of citizens rights, privacy and data protection rules, arguing that national implementation and judicial review of cases of suspected copyright violations would guard against this.
“Therefore, I believe that there is no risk,” she said.
More generally, Totić said that Serbia must harmonise its laws with the regulations of the EU by 2013 and reach a level of protection of intellectual property that is similar to that in member states.
She said Serbia’s laws in the field of protection of intellectual property are mostly in line with the EU legislation, but that more has to be done in their implementation.
Unlike the EU members, Serbia does not have specialised courts to deal with intellectual property and court proceedings last about two years, and sentences are often suspended.