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01 April 2015

Counterfeit goods are recycled instead of re-exported in landmark customs case

Previously, when counterfeit goods were found in Dubai, the Dubai Customs Authority re-exported them back to where they came from, which was generally seen as unsatisfactory for brand owners. However, in a recent case before Dubai Customs involving a major tobacco company, a promising and unique decision was taken and executed for the benefit of the brand owner.

16 February 2015

Amendments to Anti-counterfeit Act come into force

The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Act of 2014 has made several amendments to key statutes in Kenya, one of them being the Anti-counterfeit Act. A welcomed addition to the Anti-counterfeit Act is Section 34A, which provides for the compounding of offences. In addition, a new Sub-section 16(4) establishes an Intellectual Property Enforcement and Co-ordination Advisory Committee.

04 July 2014

Call for IP community to keep up pressure over murdered customs officer

The myth that counterfeiting is a victimless crime was sharply dispelled in 2011 when South African customs official Johan Nortje was gunned down in front of his house, in what was described by police sources as a “hit”. This week it has been reported that the murder case has been withdrawn, and IP practitioners are being urged to keep the pressure on authorities.

09 June 2014

Key amendments introduced as Anti-Commercial Fraud Law progresses towards enactment

Following the passage of the draft UAE Anti-Commercial Fraud Law through the Federal National Council on March 4 2014, further amendments have been made to key provisions of the draft law as it progresses towards enactment. Several changes will have an impact on brand owners and their ability to enforce their IP rights in the UAE.

11 March 2014

Anti-Commercial Fraud Law passes through Federal National Council

The draft Anti-Commercial Fraud Law, aimed at combating counterfeit goods and other forms of commercial fraud, has passed through the UAE’s Federal National Council. Although the draft law contains a number of positive new measures for brand owners, there are a number of provisions which have given rise to cause for concern.

26 March 2013

New draft anti-counterfeiting law is endorsed

A new draft law aimed at combating commercial fraud in the UAE was endorsed on January 13 2013 at a Cabinet meeting. The draft law marks a positive step by the UAE to address the issues faced by brand owners in relation to counterfeit products and a drive towards aligning UAE domestic legislation with international standards. However, there are still some areas of concern which will hopefully be addressed before it is implemented.

30 November 2011

Record sentences imposed in counterfeit drugs case

In State of Israel v Rozenblatt, the Tel Aviv District Court has imposed unprecedentedly severe sentences on two individuals convicted of multiple offences relating to the sale of counterfeit drugs for the treatment of sexual dysfunction via specialised clinics and over the internet. The court agreed with the prosecution that the circumstances of this case were particularly grave.

26 September 2011

Kenya prepares to switch off fake phones (updated)

In a move that will be welcomed by mobile telecommunications trademark owners, the Communications Commission of Kenya is pressing ahead with plans to “phase out of use of counterfeit handsets”, with termination of network services to the fakes expected by the end of the year.

25 July 2011

Good faith can be defence to trademark infringement claim

In Tommy Hilfiger Licensing LLC v Shadi, the Nazareth District Court has ruled, among other things, that a claim of 'good faith' may, in appropriate circumstances, serve as a defence to a claim of trademark infringement. However, in the case at hand, the defendant had failed to demonstrate that it had acted in good faith with respect to its use of the plaintiff's mark.

14 July 2011

Government cracks down on counterfeits in Dubai’s Dragon Mart

Dragon Mart, Dubai’s huge wholesale and retail free zone shopping complex for goods of Chinese origin, has been a major source of counterfeit goods ever since it opened in December 2004. However, recent enforcement activity by the Department of Economic Development suggests that the problem is finally being tackled more effectively.

13 July 2011

Customs not liable for costs that cannot be collected from importer

In The State of Israel - Customs Authority v Christian Dior Couture, the Supreme Court has ruled that storage and destruction costs that cannot be collected from an importer of counterfeit goods must be borne by the rights owner. Such costs may be deducted from the bank guarantee provided by the rights owner pursuant to statutory requirements.

11 July 2011

Maximum statutory damages awarded in counterfeit drugs case

In Lilly Icos LLC v Finkelstein, the Tel Aviv District Court has awarded the maximum statutory damages against the principal wrongdoer in a case involving counterfeit Cialis drugs. The court found that the severity of the defendant's conduct tilted the balance towards awarding the maximum statutory damages.

03 March 2011

Trademark owner not liable for storage and destruction costs

In Levi Strauss & Co v Algamal, the district court has held that Levi Strauss & Co, the owner of well-known marks for jeans, could not be held liable for the storage and destruction costs of counterfeit goods seized by Customs. The court concluded that the obligation to provide a bank guarantee did not create liability on the trademark owner’s part to bear the storage and destruction costs of the goods.

02 February 2011

Enforcement agencies tight-lipped over South Africa murder investigation

While South African authorities continue to investigate the murder of customs official Johan Nortje, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organisation have refused to comment on calls for a wider investigation into the crime.

21 January 2011

Murder of customs official warrants investigation, says shocked IP community

As mourners today attend the funeral of the murdered South African customs official Johan Nortje, the IP community is calling for an investigation into the alleged connections between his apparent assassination and the counterfeit gangs he cracked.