– Law on Geographical Indications (Official Gazette “Sl. glasnik BiH” No. 53, June 29, 2010), in force since January 1, 2011.
– Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, Stockholm Act, since July 4, 2013.
Applicant: any legal entity or natural person who, in a particular geographical area, produces a particular product which is marked by the name of the said area, or associations thereof.
Foreigners: must appoint a local patent attorney.
Protection of foreigners: they enjoy the same rights as nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with international contracts, conventions or on the basis of reciprocity.
Kinds of protection: geographical indications, appellations of origin.
Exceptions to protection: (1) is contrary to the law or morality; (2) is the name of protected animal species or plants varieties, if that name could mislead the public; (3) is causing confusion on the market and, in particular with regard to the type, origin, quality, type of production or other characteristics of the products; (4) is the name of a country, region or area from which the product originates, but which is misleading in believing that the product originates from a different country, region or area; (5) which has become a generic term for denoting a particular product; (6) is not protected, ceased to be protected or ceased to be used in the country of origin.
Territory covered: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney (no legalization);
2. Description of the geographical area;
3. Description of specific characteristics of the products.
Minimum requirements to obtain a filing date: name and address of the applicant; geographical name to be protected; type of product; geographical name of the area from which the said product originates.
Terms for filing missing documents: upon request by the Intellectual Property Office, which sets the deadline of thirty days; non-extendible.
Examination: formal examination; examination of absolute exceptions to protection. If an application does not meet these examination requirements, the applicant is informed and a deadline of thirty days non-extendible is set for the applicant to file a reply.
Publication: an application which complies fully with the above examination requirements is published.
Opposition to the published application: to be filed within three months from publication.
Transformation of application for geographical indication to appellation of origin (and vice versa): at any time during the examination procedure.
Urgent examination procedure: only if a lawsuit, or a request for customs or trade inspectorate surveillance have been filed.
Restoration: possible by reinstatement to the former status; the request for the reinstating has to be filed within three months from receipt of the decision on the status which is to be restored.
Registration: for an application that fulfills all requirements for registration, the Intellectual Property Office registers the geographical indication or appellation of origin, issues the corresponding registration decision and publishes the geographical indication or appellation of origin in the Official Gazette.
Appeals: no complaint can be lodged against the registration decision, but it may be appealed to the Complaints Authority of the Institute within fifteen days from the receipt of the decision. Furthermore, a decision of the Complaints Authority can also be appealed within thirty days of receipt by filing an administrative suit with the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Duration: not limited.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Nullification action: during the whole duration of a geographical indication or appellation of origin, any interested party can lodge a complaint with the Intellectual Property Office for nullification on the grounds that all prerequisites for granting the geographical indication or appellation of origin have not been fulfilled.
Infringement and penalties: the owner can initiate civil and penal proceedings against any infringer at the relevant court; the proceedings must be initiated within three years after the owner learned about the infringement and the infringer, but not later than five years from the date of the actual infringement; the court can prohibit the infringement, grant indemnification, and order the infringer to bear the costs of publishing the court verdict; the infringer can be imprisoned and fined.