The Australian Customs Service Can Seize Counterfeit Products
Many businesses are suffering from the sale of counterfeit products which are manufactured overseas then find their way into Australia for sale at various outlets including weekend markets.
The Australian Customs Service (Customs) and the provisions in Australian Intellectual Property Legislation can assist such businesses. Customs has the power to locate counterfeit goods prior to them entering Australia and seize them.
But first you must have a registered trade mark or be the owner of copyright (Intellectual Property). A Notice is lodged with Customs listing the Intellectual Property you own and requesting Customs to seize counterfeit products bearing your Intellectual Property which are being imported into Australia. It is beneficial to work closely with Customs, explaining to Customs personnel how to identify your genuine products from counterfeit products.
The first step is to verify that the products are counterfeit. If they are, you have ten working days to persuade the importer to forfeit the goods to Customs. Alternatively, you may take Court action against the infringement of your Intellectual Property. The ten day period can be extended by another ten working days.
In addition to lodging a Notice with Customs, we can arrange for various watches to be put into place such as at weekend markets to locate counterfeit goods for sale. Action may then be taken against the stall holder and/or importer. Most authorities responsible for weekend markets will be co-operative in assisting you deal with the sale of counterfeit products which breach your Intellectual Property rights.
If the sale of counterfeit products manufactured overseas is a threat to your business, we can assist you to take steps to have these counterfeit products seized before they enter Australia:
- Register all the trade marks used in your business, or the main marks.
- Lodge a Notice of Objection with Customs.
- When Customs locate counterfeit products attempting to enter Australia, these products will be seized by Customs.
- Use legal remedies to have the counterfeit products forfeited and/or to enforce your rights against the importer.
- Keep a regular market-place watch for counterfeit products.
- When you develop new trade marks, update your Notice of Objection
For further details or assistance with Intellectual Property matters, please contact Wendy Burnett, Special Counsel.
Author: Wendy Burnett