The Serbian National Internet Domain Registry Foundation and the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law organised a conference on 11th June 2015 titled Intellectual Property and the Internet, where papers published in a themed journal of the same name were presented.
The main topics of the event, organised with the backing of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), were “Internet domain names and protected trademarks” and “Copyright and the Internet”.
The conference was opened by Prof Dr Sima Avramović, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Danko Jevtović, director of RNIDS, Nevenka Novaković, acting director of the Serbian Intellectual Property Office and Prof Dr Dušan Popović, chair of the Committee for the resolution of disputes relating to the registration of national internet domains.
The introductory talk was given by Jonathan Cohen, founder and member of the Intellectual Property Constituency within ICANN. Cohen presented the structure of ICANN and the tasks of the Intellectual Property Constituency, as well as the mechanisms that exist for the protection of intellectual property rights in the context of the introduction of the new generic top-level domain names. Cohen took the opportunity to call on the public in Serbia and the region to take more active part in the work of ICANN in the area of intellectual property and the Internet.
After the introductory talk, a session was held titled “Internet domain names and protected trademarks”. Lecturer of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, Dr Slobodan Marković, talked about domain names in terms of economics, noting that domain names could have greater value than protected trademarks, even though they were not the subject of any exclusive intellectual property rights. Senior lecturer of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law, Dr Marko Jovanović, also vice-chair of the Committee for the resolution of disputes relating to the registration of national Internet domains, talked about the effectiveness of the domain dispute resolution procedure and the possibilities for its improvement. Dr Jovanović was especially keen to point out the fact that such disputes get resolved in a very short space of time – 60 days.
In the second session, titled “Copyright and the Internet”, the topic was online copyright infringement and the relationship between copyright and the right to privacy. Belgrade University Faculty of Law lecturer, Dr Dušan Popović, talked about rulings of the European Court of Justice that have established that use of hyperlinks can, under certain conditions, be deemed a breach of copyright. Senior lecturer of the Belgrade University Faculty of Law, Dr Sanja Radovanović, talked about the liability of Internet providers and site owners for copyright infringements. Senior lecturer of the Union University Faculty of Law, Dr Mario Reljanović, presented a paper on the relationship between copyright and the right to privacy in electronic communications. Last but not least was Bogdan Ivanišević, a lawyer from the BDK law office, talking about American and European legal practice in relation to resale of digital copies of intellectual property (music, software, etc.).
There is no special form of protection for intellectual property rights where infringement has occurred online. In Serbia the Intellectual Property Office is responsible for this area, providing expertise and state administration services. In terms of legislation, Serbia has followed the lead of the international and European community with respect to intellectual property rights, and has taken a comprehensive approach to setting in order all the issues that come under this heading. One of the laws governing the area is the Copyright and Related Rights Act.
The local rules in place for the resolution of domain disputes are in line with those developed by ICANN. Their enforcement allows trademark owners to pursue an effective procedure to take over the registration of domain names from cybersquatters and domainers, i.e. those who have registered a domain name in bad faith that is identical or similar to a trademark belonging to a third party.
Here you may watch the video footage of the conference: