Over 4,000 Greek businesses using the description “Macedonian” for their products must register them with the competent European and international agencies before the Prespa agreement on the FYROM name comes into effect.
Business owners must register their products’ origin so that they are not to be confused with products coming from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia if and when the agreed name “North Macedonia” becomes the official nomenclature of the Balkan country.
President of the Federation of Businesses of Northern Greece (SVVE) Athanasios Savvakis warned business and industry owners about the situation and urged them to act quickly in order to avoid confusion in the international marketplace.
“Businesses should act quickly,” Savvakis stressed during a press conference, saying that until now, no Greek company had registered their product to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as Macedonian. Instead, he said, only two businesses from FYROM had done so.
However, the cost to register their products is not small. As SVVE Executive Vice-President Yiannis Stavrou noted, the cost to register each product to European agencies including legal fees is about €2,000 ($2,300). In order to register it to WIPO, the respective cost is €8,000 per product.
Savvakis said that SVVE will support all Greek companies offering the necessary legal and procedural support for registering the trademark for any product containing the term “Macedonia“.
Characteristically, MEVGAL (Macedonian Milk Industry) based in Koufalia, Thessaloniki, is one of the largest dairy industries in Greece, exporting to 23 countries and in its brand name it is stressed that their products come from Macedonian farms.
There are also companies called Macedonian Paper, Macedonian Textiles, Macedonian Ostrich Farm, Macedonian Hotels S.A., Macedonian Metal Industries, Makedoniki S.A. Distillery – Winery, and so on. All these companies will have problems distinguishing themselves from FYROM businesses in the future, unless they register their products to signify their Greek origin.
The same would apply to the famous Macedonian halva delicacy.