The President of the Central Macedonian branch of the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece Athanasios Saropoulos, issued a warning on Wednesday urging regional agri-food businesses to register their trademarks prior to the ratification of the Prespes Agreement by the Greek Government.

Mrs Saropoulos stressed that many businesses could face great risks when it comes to operating and maintaining trademarks as only in the Greek prefecture of Central Macedonia, there are 39 agri-food businesses operating with the definitions “Macedonia” or “Macedonian” as part of their official brand names or trademarks.

“Unfortunately, the recorded number of those who have begun the procedure to register their trademarks abroad remains small,” he said, explaining that the cost of registering a trademark ranges from 800 euro within  the European Union to 10,000 euro to internationally register a trademark.

The registrations go through the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office in Alicante, Spain, however, the price-tag may vary depending on the range of products a business will need or want to register

“Businesses with unregistered trademarks need to realise that unless they register their trademarks immediately, it will be very difficult to win any disputes in the future,” he added, estimating there are at least 182 businesses across all business sectors potentially at risk, based on figures recorded by the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mrs Saropoulos highlighted during a interview with AMNA that trademarking the terms ‘Macedonia’ and ‘Macedonian’ is one of the “grey areas” of the Prespa Agreement, something both governments have promised to go into after the accord is ratified by both countries.