All innovative companies that are selling and exhibiting in the EU are facing a huge and overwhelming problem regarding counterfeiting. For those who are not familiar with this term, it refers to product and brand piracy. Logically, those companies need to protect their business operation which includes taking some serious steps. Protecting your business revenues on the international European market against counterfeiting, primarily include the step of applying for customs seizures.
In general, you should know that this is one of the proven methods that will allow you to get a hold of the people who are stealing your ideas and benefit from them. Using your business goals and ideas is against law, therefore, you have all rights to hire a custom lawyer that will help you protect yourself. In this article, we are going to talk about some crucial questions regarding border seizures that you should consult with your lawyer.
What Exactly Are Customs Seizures?
First thing first, you should be familiar with the term customs seizures and what they exactly represent. So, in general, customs seizures stand for a method that serves to fight patent, trademark, and design infringing products. This refers to the earliest stages of those procedures. The method of this kind is applicable when IP-infringing products that come from non-European countries need to be imported into the EU countries. In this procedure, the owner of the products wants to sell them or even exhibit them at a fair price.
What happens on the European borders is that customs are taking action and retaining goods that are suspicious in the terms of infringing registered IP rights. After that, they are telling the rights to the holder about the things they have discovered and defining to him a certain time in which the company is allowed to take action against the potential product or brand pirates. Despite the mentioned, customs seizures are also applying for products that are meant for export or reimportation into the EU countries. If you have any additional doubts or misunderstandings regarding the term of the custom seizures, you can be free to ask your lawyer about them. If you still do not have your lawyer and you are in the trading business, you can contact Abady Law Firm and they will protect your rights and be by your side in the terms of the law.
Ask the Lawyer How Are Customs Seizures Carried Out?
Logically, during the process of the inspection, customs are picking up and analyze the suspicious goods. After that, the rights holder is primarily notified by customs that all those suspicious goods are retained. Additionally, the lawyer will tell you that you must be informed about the precise period of time in which you can take all further actions. The rights holder can also inspect and check the goods for infringements. Additionally, he can tell customs whether the retained goods are truly infringing any of his registered IP rights and whether or not you are interested to be familiar with any additional discoveries. One more thing that you should know is that the rights holder can also apply for the destruction of the IP-infringing goods.
When it comes to the goods, you as an owner need to agree to the destruction within the defined time that is given to you. In the case you disagree to take this action, certain legal steps are going to be conducted. If you agree to this, the goods are going to be destroyed. We suggest you apply for sending some samples to you after the discovery process. In that way, the company can check adequately for infringements. However, you should know that you can not request samples in case the affected IP is not a trademark, design, copyright, or some geographical indication.
Ask your custom lawyer whether there are Any Relevant Preconditions and how you can apply
In general, you should know that all European customs can take action on spec even though the actual application is not being filled. However, the application has to be filed subsequently within a specific period of time that customs define. Until a person already has filled out the application, goods that he possesses will only be retained. Therefore, the real and actual seizure will be possible only afterward.
Consult with your lawyer, however, there is some information that you must provide within your application at any rate. Below, you are going to find them out. Primarily, you need to provide your name and number. Additionally, you need to obtain the certificate of the registered IP rights. Further, you must give details regarding the distinctive features of your original products. Regarding these details, the customs will react because they will know what exactly they have to look for. Lastly, you will need to provide information about significant features of potentially infringing products
Consult with your lawyer Are there Any Special Things you Might Miss?
There is one important thing you should know about. We want to tell you that not all customs authorities are created in an equal way. This means that there are going to be some type of limitations that are important to know about regarding responsibilities. This depends on the way in which suspicious goods infringe your IP. Therefore, it would be good to take a quick scan of the details below that can be important for your own procedure.
For instance, you should know whether customs can retain goods because they suspect them of infringing your IP. Well, once the border seizure is carried out by EU customs a suspicion can be sufficient to take action. Additionally, you should know whether the customs office can take action for every kind of IP. When it comes to this answer, EU customs can not retain or seize goods that are suspected of infringing utility models.
Consult your lawyer about protecting your products
It would be good to talk with your lawyer regarding blocking all brand pirates before they take action by stealing your ideas and creating their own business based on your ideas.