AmCham celebrates International Day of Intellectual Property

Prishtina, April 25, 2024 – On the occasion of the International Intellectual Property Day, the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo organized a panel discussion on the importance of intellectual property protection and its impact on fostering innovation, protecting creativity and promoting economic development. The panel included Isa Dukaj – from the Industrial Property Agency, Agron Selimaj – Selimaj Legal Consulting, Darsej Rizaj – StarLabs and Nazlije Sope – Kerveshi & Partners Law Firm. The event was moderated by Florentina Grubi-Vula – SDP Kosovë.

Isa Dukaj explained how the Industrial Property Agency has built infrastructure for the protection of intellectual property, including patents, copyrights and trademarks, emphasizing that the legislation exists and is compatible with that of the European Union. Dukaj also explained that any company has the right to register, but patents and trademarks can also be registered by individuals. He stressed that the development of new products is the key to economic development, hence, he also informed that the IPA is also working on the digitalization of the registration process, which as he notes, next year’s celebration of International Intellectual Property Day, will find the Agency with digitized processes.

Florentina Grubi-Vula opened the meeting as moderator of this panel.Grubi-Vula explained the special role of intellectual property in economic development while emphasizing that patents can be from any industry and that companies can benefit greatly from registering a patent or trademark. She also explained that the cost of registering a trademark is affordable for any company.

Agron Selimaj highlighted the importance of the legal department or a lawyer in a company, as the leadership of companies do not have time to deal with the legal issues and are not sufficiently informed about them. Selimaj highlighted the problems that companies in Kosovo face in terms of counterfeiting, while noting the shortcomings of the Market Inspectorate. Selimaj also noted that companies should also seek compensation when they come across counterfeits. As the main point, Agron Selimaj highlighted the importance of lawyers or the legal departments within companies to deal with the legal aspects.

A perspective from the business side was provided by Darsej Rizaj who noted that as a company, their first step was to educate themselves about the role and the importance of intellectual property. As they expanded their business operations into international markets, Rizaj emphasized that they have also faced other certain legal challenges, highlighting the crucial role of the legal advisors and lawyers. Darsej Rizaj’s main point was that the importance of certifications should be taken into account. He emphasized that the use of artificial intelligence can be a big problem, considering that the data placed in these applications is stored somewhere, which can also be a violation of trade secret laws and regulations.

Nazlije Sope said that the laws in Kosovo are very suitable and it is very important to organize information meetings. One of the main issues in regards to registration of the patents, trademarks, is the requirement to register physically. Sope also explained that it is a perception that only companies lose from registration, however, she noted that companies which use counterfeit products, usually operate in the informal economy and therefore do not pay taxes and duties, which affects employment, and that all three actors are harmed.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo remains committed to advancing intellectual property protection initiatives and fostering a conducive environment for innovation and creativity.