Ministry of Finance of the Republic Croatia – Customs Administration
Control in the Internal Market
Ministry of Finance, Customs Administration, since 2013, controls the application of regulations in the field of intellectual property within its competence as well, namely: turnover and reproduction (multiplication) of musical and cinematographic works recorded on CDs and DVDs, of software and books, the protection of industrial design and trademarks, the use of geographical indications and appellations of origin of goods and services, and turnover of products made by a protected invention (a patent). Inspectors of the Ministry of Finance, Customs Administration, carry out control ex officio and on the basis of charges filed by natural and legal persons. Inspectors are authorised to temporarily seize the objects, should they establish it is a matter of goods infringing intellectual property rights; where it cannot be assured that a brand used without an authorisation is equal or similar to someone else’s brand, they can exclude a sample of disputed products and send them to a competent institution for examination (expert witness testimony). If a reasonable doubt is established that the infringement of intellectual property regulations poses a misdemeanour, a proposal for indictment shall be submitted with a competent misdemeanour court, i.e. criminal charges shall be filed, if there is a reasonable doubt of a criminal offence committed. Instead of a proposal for indictment, a competent inspector can issue a misdemeanour warrant to a perpetrator of a misdemeanour pursuant to the provisions of Article 228 and 233 of the Misdemeanour Act.
State Inspectorate of the Republic of Croatia
State Inspectorate of the Republic of Croatia performs, among other inspection tasks, inspection tasks and certain tasks of official controls in agriculture, overseeing the implementation of regulations regulating agricultural and food products with a protected indication of origin, protected geographical indication and guaranteed traditional specialty, use of indications on the market, as well as official controls which confirm the conformity of the product with the specification, the supervision of the operation of control authorities and conformity with other prescribed requirements, before placing it on the market. The supervision also covers the sector of winemaking and strong alcoholic beverages.
Misdemeanour protection is principally directed against the actions representing minor violation of legal order. The Municipal Misdemeanour Court in Zagreb has jurisdiction in proceeding with all cases concerning misdemeanour law protection of intellectual property. Provisions on misdemeanour liability for intellectual property rights are contained in the acts regulating individual fields of intellectual property rights. Settlements in second instance lie within competence of the High Misdemeanour Court.