Roundtable: The Impact of the Prespa Agreement on Commercial Names, Trademarks and Brands

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On December 10, 2019, a round table on the impact of the Prespa Agreement on trade names, trademarks and brands containing the term “Macedonia” was held at the premises of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.

Given the specifics of the matter, in June 2019, the Government of North Macedonia appoints a co-chair and members of the Macedonian side of the International Group of Experts, which should be a bridge between the political elites of the two countries at the highest level and the business community. Guest speaker at the round table was Prof. Dr. Gjorgji Filipov, co-chair of the group. The event was also attended by other representatives of the International Group, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chambers of commerce, civil society organizations and journalists.

It was noted at the event that, talks on “commercial names, trademarks and trademarks” differ from those on textbooks, cultural heritage and interpretations of historical events conducted by other commissions set up in connection with the Agreements with neighboring Bulgaria and the Hellenic Republic. In this case, it is about industrial property rights, which are essentially “private property” rights of legal and natural persons from both countries. Hence the inevitable involvement of business communities (ie, chambers of commerce) from both countries as representatives of privately owned companies.

The purpose of the roundtable was to enable connection and dialogue between all stakeholders, as well as to enable stakeholders for a more informed public discussion on the next steps in finding acceptable solutions for the use of commercial names, trademarks and brands containing the term “Macedonia” internationally.

The event was organized within the project “Harmonization of bilateral relations between North Macedonia and Greece by monitoring the implementation of the Prespa Agreement” (part of the SYMPHONY program – Program for Reconciliation between North Macedonia and Greece), funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives, supported by the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade and implemented by EUROTHINK.

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