INTERNET PIRACY BIGGEST PROPERTY VIOLATION IN MACEDONIA
Macedonia makes progress in the fight against piracy, but it is still far from the European average, posting a 68-percent rate of forgeries and piracy. Internet piracy, primarily in sectors of music and film, will continue to rule if public awareness is not raised, accompanied by effective penalties, agreed participants at the inter-regional symposium on enforcement of intellectual property rights held Monday in Skopje.
According to the presence of forgeries and piracy in the region, Macedonia lags behind Slovenia and Croatia, has the same level with Bulgaria, and is better ranked than Serbia.
Justice Minister Mihajlo Manevski informed that courts have initiated 42 procedures in the past couple of years related to the protection of intellectual property rights, resulting in 22 fines and 12 alternative penalties.
"We are aware that intellectual property rights are often violated, whereas every country is obliged to protect intellectual labor and innovations", added Manevski.
Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi stressed that respect of intellectual property rights is of exceptional significance, taking into consideration that a significant portion of the commercial exchange relies on their protection, while economic growth and development of states depends from their appropriate management.
A national strategy has recently been adopted as part of the activities to build an efficient system for protection of intellectual property rights.
The two-day international symposium, organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization and the State Office of Industrial Property, includes the participation of representatives from 31 countries.