In Romania, industries heavily relying on intellectual property rights have a contribution of nearly 45% of Romania’s GDP, the European Union average being 38.6%, as indicated by research published towards the end of last year by the European Patent Office and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, in partnership with the European Commission. Thus, Romania is in the 4th place in the EU in terms of its GDP’s dependency on industries intensively relying on intellectual property rights, which accounted for over EUR 55 billion of Romania’s economy, in 2010.
In this context, Muşat & Asociaţii makes public the preliminary results of the first statistical study conducted in Romania on the protection of intellectual property rights by means of court proceedings. The survey “IP Enforcement Horizon: Romania”, authored by the Intellectual Property Division of Muşat & Asociaţii, analyzes the protection degree benefiting intellectual property rights, granted by the Romanian courts of law.
“Such a quantitative study is a premiere in Romania, as well as internationally. Our country holds the fourth position in the European Union, in the ranking of countries whose GDP mostly depends on the industries which rely intensively on intellectual property rights. Insofar as 45% of Romania’s GDP depends on the performance of these industries, it became necessary to assess the degree to which these rights are protected. However, intellectual property rights may only be protected by judiciary proceedings, which called for the survey initiated by the Muşat & Asociaţii team”, declared Paul Buta, Managing Associate Muşat & Asociaţii.
The preliminary results of the survey cover the period comprised between 1 January 2008 and 1 November 2013 and refer to the workload of the Bucharest Court of Appeal in the intellectual property area, to the evolution of the number of newly docketed files, but also to the degree of claim resolutions. The publication of the preliminary results concerning the activity of the Bucharest Court of Appeal occurs in the context where the activity of the appeal court with the highest workload in relation to intellectual property cases in the country undergoes restructuring.
As regards intellectual property rights, during this period, 191 new files were registered, in average, every year, with a peak at 265 in 2012, by the Bucharest Court of Appeal. However, the court’s workload was higher than that, with files pending from previous years adding approximately 31% to the number of newly docketed files each year. After 2010, the Bucharest Court of Appeal registered more than 200 new files on intellectual property every year, i.e. 246 in 2011, 265 in 2012 and 212(est.) in 2013, as compared to previous years, when the volume was consistently lower (194 in 2008, 112 in 2009 and 146 in 2010).
Depending on the intellectual property domain, among the files newly registered with the Bucharest Court of Appeal, the highest ratio pertains to files concerning trademarks, followed by the ones concerning copyright and related rights, the level of the two being identical in 2009 and 2013. They are followed, at considerable length, by files concerning patents and designs. As for the files relating to unfair competition, not all of these are brought before civil and intellectual property divisions, as some of them are also reviewed by the civil divisions dealing with cases concerning professionals (former commercial divisions).
Furthermore, the analysis of the resolution time in intellectual property files revealed that the appeal court obtained increasingly shorter average file settlement times, as the workload increased. This trend may be best noticed in the case of appeals in the field of patents, where resolution times were shorter by up to 63.23%: from over 381 days in 2008, to less over 140 days in 2012. In the case of second appeals, in the field of designs, the resolution time increased, in average by approximately 70%, from an average level of 80 days in 2008, to a maximum level of 189 days in 2009.
The study is scheduled to be completed in the first half of the year and will review data concerning intellectual property files pending before the courts throughout the country, over the past six years.
About Muşat & Asociaţii Intellectual Property
Muşat & Asociaţii Intellectual Property is the dedicated division of Muşat & Asociaţii, Attorneys at Law, providing advice concerning intellectual property rights or representation before the courts, in a wide range of disputes deriving from the breach of such rights, to multi-national companies in various industries, such as pharma, IT&C, energy, FMCG or media.
The Muşat & Asociaţii Intellectual Property team provides integrated legal assistance services, in particular representing the interests of domestic and foreign clients before the competent public authorities (OSIM, the Romanian Copyright Office, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market), the registration/protection of intellectual property rights pertaining to marks, patents, models and designs, copyright and related rights, the negotiation and drafting of franchise and assignment agreements, intellectual property disputes arising from unfair business competition, comparative and misleading advertising, unfair business practices and counterfeiting.
About MUŞAT & ASOCIAŢII
MUŞAT & ASOCIAŢII is one of the first law firms established in Romania after January 1, 1990. With 16 partners and over 100 attorneys and advisors, MUŞAT & ASOCIAŢII provides consultancy services in all areas of business law, including Mergers & Acquisitions, Privatization, Banking, Energy & Natural Resources, Competition, Corporate, Telecommunications & IT, Labor, Fiscal, Capital Markets, Real Estate, Environmental, Litigations & Commercial Arbitrations.
MUSAT & ASOCIATII regularly provides legal consultancy services to some of the most renowned and valued corporations in Romania and the world, including a third of the Top 100 and half of the Top 500 largest companies, as well as to local public and financial institutions in intricate corporate and financial transactions and complex dispute resolution procedures. The company’s portfolio comprises over 2,500 clients, most of which are foreign investors from different industries.