Bosnia and Herzegovina

PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SUPPORTS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Sarajevo, October 18, 2010. – The first-ever in-depth study of public perceptions of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was conducted by USAID’s project on Intellectual Property Rights Protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina Project (IPR Project) in cooperation with Prism Research. The study showed the significant, positive effect on the economy and business climate that patents, trademarks and other intellectual property protections have.
PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SUPPORTS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTThe study also showed the public concern over counterfeited products -- more than 60% of citizens are concerned that counterfeited products could harm health and safety.
The IPR Project carried out quantitative and qualitative research in order to develop a communication campaign to increase public awareness and knowledge of intellectual property rights. The research included more than 1.400 citizens, representatives of small and medium enterprises, academic and research institutions and media from the Federation of BiH, RS and Brčko District. Key findings include:
Intellectual property protection contributes to increased market share and lower production costs
 21% of companies with IPR experience felt strongly that IPR significantly contributes to lower production costs, increased confidence with customers, and increased exports and market share.
 68% of SMEs are not familiar with the existence of IPR laws and do not know whom to contact to pursue IPR protections.
Availability of counterfeited food, chemical and pharmaceutical products causes concern among citizens
 Only 45% of respondents think IPR is important for BiH from an economic standpoint.
 60% of respondents are worried that counterfeited food, chemical and pharmaceutical products could result in negative health and safety effects.
 71% of respondents believe that the laws and rules related to IPR protection are not enforced in BiH.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Intellectual Property Rights Protection Project strengthens the capacity of the Institute for Intellectual Property of BiH and raises awareness and knowledge of the importance of intellectual property rights. Effective protection of intellectual property is crucial for integration of BiH into the European Union and accession to the World Trade Organization, as well as attracting foreign investment, creating new jobs, protecting consumer health and driving economic growth.
To date, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has provided over $1.5 billion in assistance to support economic, democratic and social progress in BiH.



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