Amendments to the intellectual property laws (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 66/2019)

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The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has rendered on the sitting of the Sixteenth extraordinary session, on September 17, 2019 the Law on Amendments to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights and  the Law on Amendments to the Patent Law, published in the “Official Gazette of the RS” no. 66/2019 (hereinafter: the „Laws“). The Law entered into force on September 26, 2018, but certain provisions will be applicable from January 1, 2020.

The amendments made to the Laws brought the provisions of national law into line with those of the relevant EU directives, in which way the conditions for closing Chapter 7 in the negotiations with the EU are fulfilled.

Amendments to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights relate to extending the protection of economic rights of interpreters and phonogram producers and strengthening of civil and legal protection of copyright and related rights and to improving the collective exercise of copyright and related rights.

The protection of the rights of the interpreters who recorded their interpretations on the phonogram is extended from 50 to 70 years, and it is also foreseen that the economic rights of the co-authors on the composition with the lyric last 70 years from the death of the last surviving co-author of the composition or text.

The amendments related to civil and legal protection of copyright and related rights expand the circle of entities that can file a claim for violation of copyright and related rights from acquirers of exclusive authorizations to copyright, to acquirers of non-exclusive authorizations, ie. holders of a non-exclusive license. Changes have been made to the imposition of provisional measures, which may be issued without hearing the defendant, especially when such delay could inflict damage to the prosecutor. The possibility of imposing a measure of confiscation of movable and immovable property is foreseen, as well as a measure of prohibition of payment from the defendant’s account.

The amendments stipulate that interpreters whose interpretations are recorded on a sound and image carrier (actors) will also be compensated for re-broadcasting their interpretations. So far, this right has been guaranteed only to interpreters whose interpretations have been recorded on a sound carrier (musicians), and now the right is also guaranteed to actors, thus improving their legal situation and their material position.

Changes have also been made to the provisions relating to the work of an organization for the collective exercise of copyright and related rights, in order to establish an effective system for the collective exercise of copyright and related rights.

The amendments to the Patents Law concern inventions from employment relation in order to strike a balance between the interests of the employer and the author of the invention.

The new provisions specifically emphasize that an invention from employment relation is not only an invention made by an employee in the performance of his or her work responsibilities, but also one created by using the resources of the employer or in connection with the activities of the employer, even if such activities were not the fulfilment of work obligations. An invention from employment relation is also considered to be the case when the employer provides the employee with training in certain jobs, so the employee, using such knowledge, creates the invention, whether created during the employment or one year after the termination of the employment.

The right to protect of an invention that has arisen in the employment relationship belongs to the employer, while the employee is entitled to compensation and to be recognized as the author of the invention. However, the relations between the employer and the inventor may also be regulated differently by contract or general act of the employer.

The new provisions set out the criteria for determining the employee’s compensation for the economic exploitation of the invention from employment relation, unless specified by an employment agreement or a general act of the employer.

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