Athanasios Saropoulos, the president of the Central Macedonian branch of the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece, warned on Wednesday that regional agri-food businesses should register their trademarks prior to the ratification of the Prespa Agreement by Greece.
Saropoulos said during a press conference that businesses risk finding themselves in a dire situation due to the provisions of Prespa Agreement regarding trademarks and businesses in the northern Greek region of Macedonia.
“Unfortunately, the recorded number of those who have begun the procedure to register their trademarks abroad remains small,” Saropoulos said. He added that ”businesses with unregistered trademarks need to realize that unless they register their trademarks immediately, it will be very difficult to win any disputes in the future.”
According to Saropoulos, the cost of registering a trademark ranges from €800 for European Union coverage to €10,000 for the worldwide market. The actual amount also depends on the number of products a company registers.
According to data presented by Saropoulos, in the region of Thessaloniki, which belongs to the prefecture of Central Macedonia, there are currently 39 agri-food businesses which use the terms “Macedonia” or “Macedonian” in their names or trademarks.
This figure, according to the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry, rises to 182 across all business sectors, without taking into account businesses which qualify their actual products as being “Macedonian” or from “Macedonia”.
The Geotechnical Chamber of Greece encourages Greek businesses to file now for the registration of their trademarks at the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office, located in Alicante, Spain.
They are also encouraged to set up a body which will provide legal advice. They also should establish an organization which will monitor and record all applications submitted from neighboring countries for trademarks that use the designations “Macedonia” or “Macedonian”.
The trademark ‘’Macedonia’’ and ‘’Macedonian’’ are one of the “grey areas” of the Prespa Agreement; its specific aspects are set to be defined only after the ratification of the Agreement.
With information from AMNA