Date: 23/04/2019

Round table with the Trade Inspectorate on IP law infringements on the internet

AmCham members from a number of law firms and companies interested in finding out more about IP law protection gathered for a round table with the Trade Inspectorate to discuss IP law infringements on the internet and ways of protecting against it.

Dragana Vujko, chairman of the AmCham Committee for combating the grey economy, and Lidija Stojanović, representative of the Trade Inspectorate, spoke with attendees about the importance of the synergy of the public and private sectors for IP law protection and the prevention of illegal trade on the internet.
The speakers stressed that an important task for 2018 was creating a Hodogram for inspection control in the field of combating illegal trade on the internet. This was done by representatives of the private sector who are members of AmCham and other business associations working together with the public authorities.

They also announced that more intensive collaboration will be established in 2019 between the public authorities and representatives of internet platforms, aimed at identifying manufacturers of counterfeit goods and locating the places where such goods are distributed.

Amcham Deputy Manager Amalija Pavić presented the Hodogram for inspection control in the field of combating illegal trade on the internet, explaining that it represents the coordination of inspection control of all inspections of goods traded on the internet. Until now inspections were unable to recognize the internet as an actual store, so it has been necessary for employees who work in inspections to be specialized in order to be able to follow the legal framework and determine opportunities for carrying out and implementing established norms. The Trade Inspectorate began implementation of the Hodogram on February 1 2019. Platforms in other countries under different jurisdictions currently represent the greatest challenge, and for now the Ministry of Internal Affairs can only operate through international legal aid.

Nebojsa Dević, representative of the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, presented the operational role of the Trade Inspectorate and outlined the jurisdiction of officers responsible for IP law protection and consumer protection, giving examples of the issues they encounter in their day to day work.

Milos Bogdanović from the MSA IP Law Office introduced the mechanisms and tools used by this law firm to combat illegal trade on social networks. He pointed out that social media represents the main medium used to promote illegal trade because it provides distributors with an easy way to create an online store and offers more discretion in business. He stated that Facebook and Instagram are the leading social platforms for selling goods. He also explained how to identify illegal trade on social networks, figure out who the seller is and how he is promoting his goods on the internet, as well as listing some ways of combating such activities. He stressed that improved results will depend on collaboration between IP law authors and the relevant public authorities responsible for the fight against illegal trade on the internet.