The Union of Serbia and Montenegro (a creation in 2003 from the remnants of former Yugoslavia) effectively came to an end on June 3, 2006 after Montenegro declared its independence following a referendum. In addition, Kosovo, a southern province of Serbia, has been under United Nations administration since 1999.
As a result, three new jurisdictions have arisen: Serbia, Montenegro and
Kosovo. The following summarizes the current status of intellectual
property rights in these jurisdictions that formerly made up the Union of
Serbia and Montenegro.
On September 19, 2006, Serbia declared to the WIPO that it has succeeded to the treaties that were formerly in force with respect to the Union of Serbia and Montenegro, namely:
- WIPO Convention,
- Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property,
- Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works,
- Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods,
- Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks,
- Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks,
- Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs,
- Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks,
- Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs,
- Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration,
- Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol,
- Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations,
- Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms,
- Brussels Convention Relating to the Distribution of Programme-Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite,
- Trademark Law Treaty,
- WIPO Copyright Treaty,
- WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty,
- Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure,
- Patent Cooperation Treaty.
Accordingly, intellectual property rights that were protected in the Union of Serbia and Montenegro as of June 3, 2006 remain protected in Serbia without confirmation or payment. Applications for intellectual property rights filed after June 3, 2006 in, or designating, Serbia, have effect only in Serbia, including designations of International registrations under the Madrid System and pending European patent applications and PCT applications filed by that date and entering the European phase, and European patents resulting from such applications.
On December 4, 2006, the Republic of Montenegro deposited with the WIPO its declaration regarding the continued applicability of the treaties that were formerly in force with respect to the Union of Serbia and Montenegro (see list under Serbia above).
With respect to the Madrid System relating to the International Registration of Marks, International registrations (IRs) in force in Serbia and Montenegro on June 3, 2006 may be extended to Montenegro within six months of the notification by WIPO of this development to the IR holder. We caution IR holders to act before:
to ensure the timely filing of such requests. There is no final decision regarding the recognition of IRs filed after June 3, 2006, although it is now possible to designate Montenegro in a new IR filing or subsequent designation. There have also been no official statements on the effect in Montenegro of other intellectual property rights, aside from IRs, that were in force in the Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Accordingly, for trademark purposes, the only way currently to obtain separate protection in Montenegro is through the Madrid System.
The European Patent Office indicated on May 23, 2007 that the situation with respect to European Patent applications and PCT applications filed up to June 3, 2006 and entering the European phase, and by patents resulting from such applications, is as yet unclear for the territory of Montenegro.
On May 19, 2007, a decree establishing a Patent and Trademark
Office (PTO) in Montenegro came into effect. The decree indicates
that the Montenegrin PTO is to begin operations within 60 days of that date.
Regulations, forms and fees concerning intellectual property rights in
Montenegro are under review and more information regarding same is expected shortly.
Kosovo has not yet become an independent country although preparations are underway internally to provide Intellectual Property protection once that happens. Currently, however, there is no Intellectual Property Office or official framework for protecting intellectual property separately in this province.