Prishtina, April 26, 2021 – In order to mark the World Intellectual Property Day and to discuss the importance of effective protection of intellectual property in the empowerment of small and medium enterprises, the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo organized a forum on the topic; “Intellectual Property and SMEs: Placing Ideas in the Market”, with stakeholders from the US Embassy, the private sector and relevant state institutions.
Among other things, Kujtesa Nezaj Shehu, Head of Office at SDP Kosovo, and at the same time moderator of this forum, mentioned the need to raise awareness for the protection of intellectual rights because despite the laws, their implementation still remains a problem.
Valerie Tucker, Economic and Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Kosovo, emphasized the importance of intellectual property rights for businesses as well as the state. Tucker stressed that these rights lead to innovation, protect the consumer and attract investment in the country. She also stressed that in case of investments by a foreign investor, the protection of intellectual property rights is important, as no investor would want to get stuck in an endless legal battle.
Also, Nezir Gashi, General Director of the Agency for Industrial Property, stressed that despite the fact that the number of applications to the Agency for Industrial Property has increased over the years, it still remains at an unsatisfactory level. He also stressed that small and medium enterprises should be knowledgeable about intellectual property as businesses that protect intellectual property are more resilient to challenges.
The Head of the Sector for Intellectual Property Rights in Kosovo Customs, Sadije Topojani, stressed that the implementation of intellectual property rights contributes to creating optimal conditions for attracting foreign investment. At the same time, she mentioned the awareness messages for the citizens from the Kosovo Customs and the exposure of the counterfeit products to inform the citizen about the danger caused to them by these products.
On the other hand, Agron Selimaj, Lawyer, said that businesses are not aware of the protection of their brand, and listed the possible steps that a business can take in case of infringement of intellectual property rights.
Finally, Luljeta Plakolli Kasumi, Expert on Intellectual Property Rights, stressed the need of businesses for an intellectual property portfolio, which would serve for the prevention of intellectual property infringement and asset commercialization.