International Cooperation

The Intellectual Property Office actively cooperates with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the European Patent Organization (ЕРО), two international organizations the Republic of Serbia is a full member of, as well as with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) as an observer. The IPO is also dedicated to developing bilateral cooperation with IP institutions of other countries.

Cooperation with WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the United Nations specialized agency established on 14 July 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden founded on the first two international intellectual property agreements, as a successor of several international bureaus established after their conclusion. The first one and so far the most important international IP agreement is the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property established in 1883 with the aim to enable the efficient, harmonized and cheaper international protection of patents, trademarks and design, and signed by eleven states signatures among which the Kingdom of Serbia. The second one, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was founded in 1886 with the aim to enable the international protection of literary, musical and fine art works.

Today, the WIPO includes 193 countries, administers twenty seven international IP agreements, works on the balanced international law development and administers five global systems – Global IP Services, among which four international IP rights registration systems: Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for patents, Madrid System for the International Trademark Registration, Hague System for the International Design Registration and Lisbon System for Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications International Registration. IP rights registration systems are established in such a way that filing one international application with a certain number of designated countries where the protection is requested replaces the same number of individual, national applications. The Republic of Serbia is the member of these systems. The fifth system is the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre, the global renowned Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) Center for the intellectual property field. Apart from that, the WIPO provides the technical and legal assistance to the member states in their institutional capacities development, expert education, drafting of laws, national strategies, studies, analysis, IP promotion and IP information.

The main WIPO administrative body is the WIPO General Assembly consisting of the member states representatives and supported in its work by the Coordination Committee and the Secretariat. The Director General is representing the WIPO and is responsible for its work. Apart from that, the numerous expert committees and working groups keep regular meetings on considering international laws issues, international rights registration systems, international classifications, information systems, law enforcement, development and others.

The Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia is a successor of the Administration for Industrial Property Protection of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes established in 1920 on the signature of the Kingdom of Serbia at the ratification of the Paris Convention in 1883. After numerous state and institutional changes, the Republic of Serbia became the WIPO member state on 27 April 1992.

The representatives of the Intellectual Property Office as the member state’s relevant institution participate in the work of the WIPO General Assembly, expert committees and working groups. Apart from that, the IPO improves its development, institutional, expert, IT and other capacities in cooperation with the WIPO. Numerous national and regional seminars and meetings on IP promotion, IP protection, technology transfer and commercialization and other related topics have been organized in Belgrade. With the WIPO assistance, IP Development Strategy 2011 to 2015, Economic Contribution of the Copyright-Based Industries in Serbia, Integrating Intellectual Property into Innovation Policy were elaborated.

The Intellectual Property Office employees’ reports from the international organizations meetings and seminars can be found in the IP Gazette Supplements since 2010.

Cooperation with EPO

The European Patent Organization (EPO) is a regional international organization established in 1973 by the European Patent Convention. The Convention was concluded with the aim to strengthen cooperation between the European states in the patent protection field and to create the unique European patent system. The Convention establishes the supranational system of legal norms anticipating the European patents granting procedure and its immediate effect on the member states territories. The effect of the Convention reflects in rationalization of the patent registration procedure, as well as examination and patent granting. Instead of having parallel procedures separately conducted in several member states where patent protection is requested, it is conducted at one place, at the European Patent Office after which the granted patents are validated in all the designated states.

The European Patent Organization is represented by the President and composed of two bodies: the European Patent Office and the Administrative Council supervising its work. Today, the European Patent Organization gathers 39 member states, one observer in accession and five countries validating European patents on their territories.

The European Patent Office is founded on the European Patent Convention with the aim to establish the unique, high quality and efficient European innovation protection procedure, to secure reliable, complete and up to date patent information and offer expert training to governmental officials, patent representatives, judges, students and other interested parties.

In the framework of the WIPO PCT System, the EPO is one of the offices authorized in drafting international search reports and international preliminary examination reports (PCT International Search and International Preliminary Examination Authority).

The Republic of Serbia is the EPO member state since 1 October 2010. Activities of the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia as being the EPO member state relevant institution include two directions. The first one is active participation in work of the EPO Administrative Council and its committees, and the second one is implementation of numerous European Patent Network cooperation projects, such as training, IT system development and harmonization, raising awareness of the European Patent System and patent related information, and other expert and technical issues. The Serbian language and national patent documentation are integrated in the European Patent Register and patent information electronic systems.

The Intellectual Property Office employees’ reports from the international organizations meetings and seminars can be read in the IP Gazette Supplements since 2010.

Cooperation with EUIPO

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is the autonomous self-financing European Union Organization founded in 1996 in Alicante, Spain with the aim of establishing the unique trademark protection (EUTM) on the entire EU territory. Apart from trademark protection, the unique EU design protection through the EUIPO was established in 2003. The EU Trademark and Design protection are granted for the entire European Union territory and valid on the territory of all 27 member states. EU Trademark and Design do not replace the national rights but the national and EU Trademarks and Designs are valid in parallel.

The EUIPO is founded with the aim to establish the efficient, high quality and competitive EU Trademark and Design registration systems and their management. In the EUIPO, trademark is examined, registered, exercised in the opposition and cancellation procedures while design is examined, registered and on request exercised in annulment procedure. Procedural appeals can be submitted to the EUIPO Boards of Appeal while annulment and cancellation of the registered rights requests are divided between the EUIPO Boards of Appeals and the member states courts.

The EUIPO is a member of the Madrid System of the International Trademark Registration and The Hague System of the International Industrial Design Registration.

The European Commission supervises the EUIPO work. The Council of Ministers of the European Union nominates the EUIPO Executive Director, its Deputy, and the President and the Chairmen of the EUIPO Boards of Appeal. The EUIPO Executive Director is responsible for its work. The EUIPO administrative bodies, the Administrative Council and the Budget Committee are composed by the member states representatives and one European Commission representative.

The Observatory for the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement is also a part of the EUIPO since 2012.

As being in the process of the EU accession, as an observer country, the Republic of Serbia is engaged in expert cooperation with the EUIPO. Since 2012, the Intellectual Property Office’s representatives participate in meetings on exchange in the trademark and design fields, and since 2013 in meetings on technical cooperation. The Intellectual Property Office representatives, judges from our country and enforcement officials from other state institutions participate at the EUIPO Academy trainings.

In 2015, the Serbian trademarks and design national data bases were integrated in the EUIPO systems: TM view, DESIGN view, TM class, and DESIGN class.

The Intellectual Property Office employees’ reports from the international organizations  meetings and seminars can be read in the IP Gazette Supplements since 2010.

Bilateral cooperation with IP state institutions

Bilateral Cooperation Agreements with national IP institutions from 14 countries were signed at the 95 Anniversary of the Intellectual Property Office on 16 November 2015. Bilateral Agreements were signed with the Austrian Patent Office, General Directorate for Patents and Trademarks of Albania, Albanian Copyright Office, Intellectual Property Office of the Kingdom of Belgium, Intellectual Property Institute of the Bosnia and Herzegovina, Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria, Danish Office for Patents and Trademarks, Organization of Industrial Property of Greece, National Center for Intellectual Property of Georgia, State Intellectual Property Office of the Peoples Republic of China, Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia, State Industrial Property Office of Macedonia, Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, Federal Intellectual Property Office of the Russian Federation, Russian State Academy for Intellectual Property, State Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic and Turkish Patent Institute.

Bilateral Cooperation Agreement with the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office was signed in 2016, with National Center for Intellectual Property of the Republic of Belorussia and Hungarian Intellectual Property Office in 2017.

The new Bilateral Cooperation Agreement with the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) was signed in 2019. With the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration, the IPO is developing fruitful bilateral cooperation, as well as cooperation within the Belt & Road Initiative.

Support of the government of the Swiss Confederation

Intellectual Property Office maintains long and successful cooperation with the Intellectual Property Institute of the Swiss Confederation on various projects in Geographical Indications, Innovation Support and other fields.  


The Intellectual Property Office and EU integration

In accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union, the Intellectual Property Office manages work of the Negotiating Group 7 for Intellectual Property Rights.

Harmonization of the Republic of Serbia’s legislation with the acquis communautaire and their effective implementation in the intellectual property field aims to create a reliable intellectual property system that enables innovation promotion and investment protection creating a favorable environment for investing in high quality goods and services. 

At the sixth meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference on 20 June 2017, Negotiating Chapter 7 were opened. The European Commission determined three criteria for closing the negotiations in this Chapter.

Progress in Negotiating Chapter 7 for Intellectual Property Rights is presented in the European Commission Annual Reports on progress of the Republic of Serbia in the European Union integration process. These progress reports are available on the Ministry of European Integration’s MEI website – EC Annual Reports.