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CLDP to Hosts Judicial Workshop on Decision-Making in Cases of Trademark and Copyright Infringement in BiH


On February 24-25, 2016, CLDP, in coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and with support from the Centers for Judicial and Prosecutorial Training of the Federation of BiH (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS), conducted the Workshop on Decision-Making in Cases of Trademark and Copyright Infringement.  Judge Richard Seeborg and Judge Haywood Gilliam from the U.S. Federal District Court for the Northern District of California, as well as Judge Zvjezdana Antonović of the BiH Appellate Court and Professor Iza Razija Mešević-Kordić of the University of Sarajevo Faculty of Law, led the workshop. Approximately twenty-five judges representing each entity in BiH (FBiH, RS, and the Brčko District) attended the workshop and participated in discussions and targeted case studies.

The participants discussed various issues that judges must consider in adjudicating trademark and copyright infringement allegations. The discussions focused on BiH, Eastern European, and U.S. jurisprudence. They addressed, among other issues, evidence needed to prove trademark or copyright infringement, distinguishing between similarities in conflicting trademarks, eligibility for copyright protection, and calculation of damages after a finding of infringement.  The experts also presented on trademarks of colors, sounds, and scents, and copyright protections for works of architecture. The participants also raised a number of important issues that have been identified as particularly important to BiH judiciary in adjudication of civil intellectual property and other commercial cases. These issues included the need to balance equities in imposing provisional penalties (such as removal from commerce, seizure of allegedly infringing merchandize, or destruction of merchandize), recognition of foreign judgments, and the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in intellectual property disputes. The U.S. judges, who hear dozens of civil intellectual property disputes each year, shared a variety of approaches to these and other issues from their judicial experience, and highlighted the similarities and distinctions between U.S. and BiH approaches. Participants received copies of the Judicial Intellectual Property Benchbook, developed by a team of BiH judges between 2011 and 2013. Participants also recognized the usefulness of existing decisions as a reference for adjudication of new disputes, and agreed to exchange unpublished cases from their courts. These discussions raised a potential next step of publishing a reference digest of BiH intellectual property cases.

This workshop is part of CLDP’s ongoing mission of strengthening the intellectual property rights (IPR) system in BiH by building judicial capacity to adjudicate IPR cases and increasing awareness of the importance of IPR protection and law enforcement. 

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