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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.

15 December 2010

Supreme Court of Appeal clarifies procedure under Counterfeit Goods Act

In Minister of Trade and Industry v E L Enterprises, the Supreme Court of Appeal has clarified the meaning of Section 5(4) of the Counterfeit Goods Act, which sets out the procedure to be followed in the event of a search and seizure without a warrant. Until now, uncertainty over the procedure had caused advisors to recommend a conservative approach, which often meant additional costs and delay.

29 November 2010

Supreme Court of Appeal issues decision on cloning and counterfeiting

In Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport v Rampar Trading (Pty) Ltd, the Supreme Court of Appeal has upheld Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport's appeal in a case involving counterfeit shoes. This case provides a useful interpretation of the Counterfeit Goods Act and is likely to be welcomed by brand owners, because it clarifies that no cloning is required to get the benefit of protection under the act.

07 October 2010

SCA considers inquiry into damages sought in motion proceedings

In Cadac (Pty) Ltd v Weber-Stephen Products Company, the Supreme Court of Appeal has upheld Cadac (Pty) Ltd's appeal against the High Court's refusal of its application for an inquiry into damages. Among other things, the court held that Cadac’s delay in prosecuting its claim had not led to its extinction by prescription.

08 July 2010

Counterfeiter sentenced to one year's imprisonment

In State of Israel v Hammuda, the defendant has been sentenced to one year's imprisonment for trademark counterfeiting under the Israeli Trademarks Ordinance and forgery under the Penal Law. This sentence departs from the usual practice in trademark counterfeiting cases, thereby reflecting the gravity of the defendant's conduct.

02 February 2010

Losing definition: the global debate over 'counterfeit' drugs

As Kenya moves to implement its controversial Anti-counterfeit Act, which effectively outlaws generic drugs, WTR examines the problem with the term 'counterfeit medicine' and why it troubles brand owners around the world.

15 October 2009

Counterfeiter convicted in Absolut Vodka Case

In The State of Israel v Yitach, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court has charged an individual suspected of counterfeiting several liquor brands with falsely marking Absolut Vodka bottles under Section 60 of the Trademarks Ordinance. However, the court dismissed the charges in respect of the other brands due to insufficient evidence.

19 June 2009

Customs given new powers to fight counterfeiting

The Nigerian Customs Service, the government agency responsible for regulating the importation and exportation of goods into and from Nigeria, may now prevent the importation of counterfeit goods. According to Part 1, Schedule 4 of the new Common External Tariff, the importation of “all counterfeit/pirated materials or articles" is prohibited.