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As with any other post-Communist country, Albania’s legislation on intellectual property rights tries to keep pace with the country’s evolving social and economic needs. The first main IP law was enacted in 1999,1 nine years after the fall of Communism. Since then, the Albanian Parliament has been active in ratifying international agreements on intellectual property rights as well as establishing an effective system for their enforcement in conformity with EU and international standards.2 The desire to be part of an integrated international economic system and the ambition to gain membership in the European Union are undoubtedly important reasons for IP legislation. However, the intention of the Albanian legislator to recognize intellectual property protection for the fruits of human ingenuity is not a modern trend. It precedes the Communist system. Yet little is known about the functioning of the intellectual property regime in Albania. Although this may be due to Communist isolationism and the limited relevance of the Albanian market for the international IP system, this chapter will show that, in fact, intellectual property protection in Albania is significantly interrelated with the current international IP and trade system.
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