What are the causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Croatia?
The online presence of counterfeits goods, which affords cheaper options, and therefore, secures good value for the money paid is the main cause of counterfeiting and piracy in Croatia.
Which are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Croatia?
Clothes, small electronics, and jewellery are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Croatia.
Does Croatia have a well-established framework for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)?
What are the specific laws/orders/rules laid down in Croatia for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights?
They are as follows:
The Copyright and Related Rights Act
the Patent Law
The Trademarks Law
The Industrial Designs Law
The Law on Geographical Indications and Designations of Origin of Products and Services
The Law on the Protection of Topographies of Semiconductor Products
What are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Croatia?
Copyright, trademarks, industrial designs, GIs, semiconductors, and patents are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Croatia.
What are the general IPR enforcement obligations in Croatia?
Foreign natural and legal persons appearing before SIPO must be represented by a registered patent and trademark agent. In court proceedings, natural and legal persons must be represented by an attorney registered with the Croatian Bar.
What are the essential to-dos before an IP rights holder initiates the enforcement proceedings?
There is a provision of gathering expert witnesses and other witnesses in court; however, the court usually relies on documentary evidence solely. Therefore, the rights holder should beforehand prepare a detailed compilation of evidence.
Is there any limitation period for filing an infringement action?
Yes. The general statute of limitations is 05 years and 03 years for remedies.
Which of the following IPR enforcement channels is/are available in Croatia?
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
Are civil actions available for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in civil litigation?
Which of the following types of civil remedies is/are available in Croatia?
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Are there any other civil remedies available in Croatia than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
Other civil remedies include publication of the judgment.
What is the approximate timeline of civil litigation related to IPR enforcement in Croatia?
It takes 03 to 05 years from filing to obtaine a final decision.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in civil litigation?
Are there any disadvantages of civil litigation in Croatia? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Is criminal prosecution available in Croatia for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in criminal prosecution?
Which is the responsible authority in Croatia corresponding to the types of criminal remedies available? Also, mention the imprisonment term and the monetary fine.
A) Responsible Authority - Commercial Courts
B) Imprisonment Term - Copyright: Up to 03 years; Trademark: up to 03 years; and Patent: no mention of imprisonment
C) Monetary Fine - Copyright: legal entity - 5,000 to 50,000 HRK, natural person - 2000 to 10, 0000 HRK; Trademark infringement: €2,600 to €13,000 for legal entities; €260 to €1,300 for natural persons; €650 to €1,300 for responsible persons within the legal entities; and €650 to €6,500 for natural persons where the infringement took place during the activities of craftsmen. Patent Infringement: legal person - HRK 20,000 to 100,000, natural person - HRK 2, 00 to 8,000 HRK, a responsible person in legal entity - 5,000 to 10,000 HRK
Are there any other criminal remedies available in Croatia than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in criminal prosecution?
Are there any disadvantages of criminal prosecution in Croatia? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
The time period of arriving at a final decision, which is not any further appealable, may take longer than usual.
Are there any alternative dispute resolution mechanisms which allow parties to resolve their dispute out of court?
ADR techniques are available; disputes can be settled by way of in-court mediation or out-of-court specialised entities. In-court mediation, decisions are enforceable immediately, while out-of-court decisions depend on the terms and conditions of the ADR agreement.
ADR procedures are not frequent in Croatia. Benefits include lower attorney fees, faster issuance of decisions, and flexibility in settlements, while the risks include no legal remedies (binding decisions) and lower compensation amounts.
Are border control measures (customs) available in Croatia for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to the customs authority/department to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party/importer of counterfeit goods?
What are the remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Croatia?
Other remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Croatia include destruction of goods.
Who must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement?
Upon finding that the goods are infringing in nature, the consignee pays the cost of destruction.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in Custom Recordal of IPRs?
Which are the best practices for enforcement of IPRs in Croatia?
Are there any risks involved in the enforcement of IPRs in Croatia? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points.
If implied or specific infringement occurs and no action is taken, the rights holder’s acquiescence may be considered as assent to the alleged infringement. This may be of detriment to the rights holders’ interest.