IP IN PRACTICE

STORIES FROM SERBIAN COMPANIES

By protecting trademark and industrial design you become serious and reliable business partner – FOODLAND

“The result achieved after the registration of the trademark and industrial design is reflected in the seriousness of the company to protect its intellectual property in due time and secures the status at the market by reflecting on that protection. Many companies that participate as partners in cooperation ask to find in the portfolio of a company the legally secured protection. On the basis of that they often ask to be given the certificates on trademarks and industrial design.


Legal person Foodland Ltd. protected its signs by trademarks and its bottles and jars by industrial design. The reason for that is that we wanted to secure by protection the unique image and recognizable brand on the market. It is prevention against competition in the sense of copying brands “Foodland” and “Grandmother s Secret”. We had a problem with the unauthorized economic utilization of our sign/product, but thanks to the due reaction we prevented the creation of the damage. AS a matter of fact, such product which appeared at one point in our market in the resale shops was quickly withdrawn, after the sending of the letter of warning and copy of the certificate on trademark. Apart from protecting our intellectual property, we engage in the prevention of its unauthorized utilization, but we also respect other people intellectual property.



Our brand “Grandmother's Secret” (srp. Bakina tajna) stands in the same line with the best known world brands in the field of food products, and the new design of bottles and jars is unique and as such makes our products attractive and appealing, increases their market value, and every day wins new customers. This does not open only new distribution channels but also communication channel in which our logo is the key word for the secret made of sweetness, good taste and traditional recipes.”

Milos Kapor, lawyer at the Legal Sector of Foodland
http://www.foodland.rs

By the protection of sign and letter of warning it is possible to prevent the damage – METALKA MAJUR

“Metalka Majur has protected the sign by a trademark in order to prevent the possibility that the competition should come with products under the sign of Metalka Majur and use this sign without authority in the promotional, advertising and other propaganda purposes.

Six months ago, in two retail shops the copies of our products appeared. We sent a letter to the legal person where we noticed those products. In the letter we explained that Metalka Majur has the exclusive right to use the sign Metalka Majur and we asked that these products in question should be withdrawn from the channels of commerce. After the reception of our letter, the legal person did what we asked for. On the basis of the trademark certificate, we managed, without the loss of time and money, to prevent the occurrence of the irreparable damage.



The registration of trademark secures safety that the consumer purchased the original product, i.e. the good and persistent quality. The trademark is a guarantee of a kind that the product shall fulfill the expectations of the consumers regarding the performances of the product. That motivates the buyer, when shopping the next time, to by products protected by the sign Metalka Majur, because it makes it easy and simple to recognize the guaranteed quality.

Having in mind that the culture of intellectual property entails the follow up of the signs that the competition and business partners use to mark their products, the search of the data base (freely accessible data base at the site of the IPO) is one of the regular business activities of our business company.”

Dejan Milenkovic, Deputy Director general, Metalka Majur, ltd.
http://www.metalka-majur.com

“Medeno srce” is recognized by the buyers abroad – PIONIR

“Business company for the production of chocolates, candies and bakery “PIONIR” ltd has been present at the market for over 90 years as the producer of sweets. The protection of intellectual property started being a topic for consideration back in 1995. Before that, a very small number of signs had been protected. The reason for the initiation of the procedure for protection was to prevent the infringement of intellectual property by another legal or natural person and to protect the originality and design of packages and the look of the products and the very title of the product itself.

The protection of originality, or the sign that marks the product must be conducted in the country and abroad, i.e in the countries of export. The protection in the countries of export is the only way to prevent not only competition, but also local distributors on those territories to protect the sign in their own name or to utilize it without authorization. “Pionir” therefore protected and duly registered internationally the trademarks for the territory of the ex SFRY and the EU countries, including : NEGRO, MEDENO SRCE, PIONIR, KIDY, GALEB, milk chocolate, etc. Thanks to that, the buyers in the countries of export, recognize in our brands the quality products created by the carefully selected ingredients, in the conditions of improved and modern technology. The trust of our buyers motivates us to maintain the constant level of quality, so that the buyers would return to the Pionir, Medeno srce and other products.



Our products are easily recognized both in the Republic of Serbia and abroad, starting primarily with the very name of the business company “PIONIR”, so the title and its look was the first thing we have protected. Today, we have 150 valid trademarks in the country and the most famous and best selling are: NEGRO BOMBONS, MEDENO SRCE, HAZLENUT CHOCOLATE, GALEB CHOCOLATE and many other products. The business company takes care about the very image of the brand, so it also often redesigns the package to keep it attractive for the buyers, of course with the recognizable quality of our products.

After the registration, we had several incidents of unauthorized use of our trademarks, in particular MEDENO SRCE and NEGRO, but we immediately contacted the competent bodies (trade inspection and the court) in order to prevent further distribution and sale of such products with the compulsory withdrawal of such products from the market.

The search of the data base of trademarks is something without which one can not imagine the marketing of a new product. As a matter of fact, when the legal service gets an instruction from the marketing service for the protection of a new product by a new name, is has the obligation to make the search of trademarks. The search of trademarks serves to check if somebody already in the class 30 of the International Classification of goods and Services has protected a sign which is the same or similar to the new sign. We do that in order not to file needlessly the request for the registration of trademarks and pay expenses.

We must emphasize that in the segment of the protection of intellectual property in our business company particular attention is paid to the IP. Our management has realized the significance and importance of the protection of our brands. The protection brings us multifold benefit. It gives us security as a firm to use and market our brands and it makes our product recognizable on the market all over the country and the world so many customers come to us for that reason also.”

Doris Markovic, Counselor of the Director

http://www.pionir.rs/

Filing request to the market inspection – efficient and easy undertaking of measures for the protection of intellectual property rights – ZAJECARSKO

“Company of the Unified Serbian Brewery Zajecarsko ltd sends various information to its buyers by a trademark, such as: unique formula, ingredients of high quality, standardized procedure. The domestic beer is the result of experience, high technology and good recipes.



One of the reasons we protected our signs is to avoid the infringement of rights by the third parties. However, we plan to file a request to the market inspection for the protection of right for increased supervision for the prevention of the potential violation by the third party of our protected right. On the basis of data contained in the request (description of goods, trademark certificate, data on the basis of which one can recognize our package , samples, photographs of goods…), the market inspection can easily and efficiently undertake the measures for the protection of intellectual property right, including the due confiscation of goods.

The service of the IPO “ Intellectual Property Diagnosis” had positive effect on the business of the company, in the meaning that there is higher consciousness of the employees of the existing position and the potentials of brending the company and the aspects of potential violation of IP rights in order to easily recognize it and undertake duly the appropriate measures for the sake of protection.

Bojana Obucina Krcmar
Company lawyer
Unified Serbian Breweries Zajecarsko Ltd. Zajecar

From the legal suit to business cooperation – GEGULA

“Business company Gegula Ltd had a problem with the registration of trademark for a sign similar, according to the result of research at the IPO, with the previously registered trademark JOHNNIE WALKER. Apart from that we received a letter of warning from the holder of this trademark Diageo Brands B.V. for infringement. We seriously understood the facts that the letter was indicating to, and we acted in accordance with his request. After that, at mutual pleasure, we concluded an agreement on cooperation. So, a business partnership was the outcome of a legal suit. Therefore, before you enter into a legal suit, think if the dispute can be peacefully resolved or if the business cooperation might appear as an outcome.

We protected our redesigned brand with a trademark. The sign consists from a stylization of a man in the folk costume of Sumadija. It is easy to recognize the opanci shoes with the bended tips, jelek embroidered with the national designed embroidery, sajkaca cap and moustache characteristic for a “true Serbian peasant”. The person firmly stands on his feet and holds a bottle – cokanj in his right hand and toasts to all the people of good will. The sign contains the slogan Gegula – stay on your feet.



The registration of trademark brought us security in doing business. The competition accepts us with respect as the “serious players”. The customers are satisfied (with quality and design) and they like in particular the fact that they are buying something protected by a registration and original. We have a serial of advantages with the suppliers. Now, all the organizers of fairs, manifestations and promotions invite us with respect to participate. We have much more guests – visitors of our site. Apart from protecting our site, in accordance with the development of new products, we plan to file new applications for the grant of trademark and industrial design. Then, in the framework of fairs that we organize, which have as a goal the development of entrepreneurship and etno values in Serbia, we include the lectures from intellectual property. For our own educational needs, we use the publications from this field that can be found in abundance at the site of the IPO (especially the book Secrets of Intellectual Property – manual for small and medium exporters). Thanks to the service of the IPO, IP diagnosis, we found out about the importance of arranging issues regarding copyright, for a legal person. So, on our web site http://www.gegula.rs/ we put the mark C 2013 Gegula Etno Center All rights reserved”

Bearing in mind that GEGULA has a good position on the home market and important buyers in the region, the efficient management of intellectual property can realize important advantage with regard to the other competition. Therefore, the registration of trademark is only the first step. By careful and regular monitoring of one s own and competitots IP, Gegula takes care of its own intellectual resources in an easier, economic and quality manner.”

Milan Jovicic, owner
http://www.gegula.rs

Trademark – means for creating reputation – PROTEKS

“Legal person “Proteks ltd” has protected signs by a trademark, because of the possibility to prevent competence to use the same or similar mark and to build image recognizable at the market by using one s own trademark.



We had the case of using trademark which was very similar to our own. Unless we had reacted in due time to prevent that, our sales would decrease and we would loose reputation with distributers and the final buyers. The problem lies in the quality of goods that the competition packed. The poor quality of their goods introduced confusion with the buyers.

Time is necessary to acquire the recognizable brand and the trademark that inspires confidence and trust with the buyers. It is senseless to enter into business without protecting the name or the image of the sign that will be used in business and which will mark the product. After a longer period of using the protected sign, and if it has become a brand, the price of the product is increased, as well as the company, the holder of the trademark and the trademark itself. The reason for this is that the trademark represents value, immaterial asset of the business company. So, after acquiring capacity to be easily recognized at the market, in the case of sale of the company or the trademark, one can get income in an easier and simpler way.

Since 2003, from the time when the product was launched, and at the same time, we are the owners of the trademark, until today, we have managed to become recognizable on the market by the visual image of our package and to win the trust of the consumers. That means a lot to us today, because, now, it is easier for us to position our goods in the retail objects in the regions where we have been present for a longer time and the consumers are asking for our goods more than for the goods of our competition, the other producers. Our turnover increases, along with the profit margin. Now, we can allow ourselves to be slightly more expensive than the competition, we have a bigger profit margin per unit of product.

Occasionally, we search the data bases of trademarks and industrial designs for the sake of following up the new ideas and the plans of the competition.”

Milos Zivanovic, owner of Proteks, Ltd.