Regarding the trade marks, with the name “Macedonia” and other variants that have come out of it, we have the advantage by being the only country in the world that has the word “Macedonia” in its name, but still regarding trade marks and titles, those that will have to make the agreements are the economic chambers and the businessmen. In Macedonia there are around 3.200 companies that have variants of the term “Macedonian” in its titles and in Greece there are around 3.500. Greece is our third largest trading partner and I expect the businesses to find their mutual interests. So far we saw that doing business with cooled heads unlike journalists and politicians have reacted to issues that were opened up recently regarding trademarks, said Dr. Gjorgji Filipov, the co-president of the International group of experts in his statement for journalists after the round table debate “The Influence of the Prespa Agreement on the commercial names, trademarks and brands”.

The round table debate at the Macedonia’s Economic Chamber (MEC) was organized by the Center for European Strategies – Eurothink and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation along with MEC, and also it was attended by the Union of Economic Chambers, a representative of the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Macedonian members of the International group of experts for solving the problem with the trademarks.

Filipov stressed that the the businessmen i.e. the chambers and not the states that can negotiate about the names since it is about private ownership.

-We are making preparations with the business communities for preparing a terrain for talks among business communities as the talks about trade names, commercial names, trademarks, brands will be happening within the business communities that will create their own working groups for the talks, and the international group of experts will serve to tell whether they will be within or will be coming out of the frame of the international law and the rights in this area. These talks will serve to adjust all of the previous commercial names of companies, trademarks that carry the name “Macedonian” and the word “Macedonia” that will be abandoned, or will be able to be kept depending on the agreement that the business communities will be able to make. It’s about a private right by business subjects as the country cannot take away these rights and it will not be able to negotiate in their name. For eg. a certain trademark can be worth more that the company itself. Now what do we do? Will the state say to it: “From tomorrow this trademark is no more”? We told the businessmen how we propose this process will unfold, we give examples how it was solved in other countries and other EU members have problems themselves within the EU – said the co-president of the international expert group for trademarks, Gjorgji Filipov.