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04 July 2012

European Parliament rejects ACTA, INTA and BASCAP blame misinformation

The European Parliament has voted to reject the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Despite a last-minute request to delay the vote, Parliament had its say – with 478 votes for the ‘no’ camp. In response, INTA and BASCAP have urged the countries that have negotiated and signed ACTA to continue their efforts to ratify the trade agreement.

04 July 2012

Debate over Customs Regulation serves as warm-up act to key ACTA vote

Counterfeiting is firmly on the European agenda this week. Last night the European Parliament voted to adopt proposed changes to the draft regulation on Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, while later today comes a key vote on ACTA.

06 June 2012

OHIM seeks views on its IP think tank plans

This week OHIM was officially entrusted with responsibility for The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights. While a number of projects are underway, the office has launched a consultation to gain feedback on the role its planned IP think tank can play.

26 March 2012

OHIM gets green light to expand activities

The Council of the European Union has adopted the proposal to entrust OHIM with the EU Observatory on Infringements of IP Rights. While the move will expand OHIM’s role, the council has stressed that the new tasks will not extend to participation in individual operations or investigations carried out by national authorities.

20 January 2012

Concern voiced over proposed EU Customs Regulation changes

Proposed changes to the EU Customs Regulation are designed to reinforce the current legal framework for customs' actions, as well as tackling the trade in small consignments of counterfeit goods sent by post. However, this week commentators expressed disappointment over the scope of the proposals.

09 December 2011

ECJ ruling makes snatching counterfeits in transit less straightforward

In Joined Cases Philips and Nokia, in a disappointing decision for IP rights owners, the ECJ has ruled that Customs may seize goods that are "in transit" through the European Union from non-member state to non-member state (under procedures that suspend normal Customs measures) only where there has been a "commercial act" in relation to the goods. It turned down the invitation to find that the "manufacturing fiction" could be applied to secure such seizure.

01 December 2011

ECJ’s goods in transit decision places burden on brand owners

In the joined Nokia and Philips cases, the ECJ has specified the conditions under which goods in transit can be seized by European customs authorities. While it has expanded on the circumstances in which temporary detention is permissible, it still leaves brand owners with a number of significant challenges, with one commentator branding the decision “disappointing”.

19 July 2011

A billion-euro problem: how the EU postal network is the rising threat to brands

Fresh statistics from EU Customs confirm what many brand owners have feared for some time: consumers are buying more and more counterfeits through the mail. EU Customs claims to have seized 48,000 goods from the postal system in 2010, up by a factor of three from 15,000 the year before. Moreover, the authorities claim that seized counterfeits have broken through the billion-euro barrier, leaving brand owners wondering how the problem will be addressed.

15 July 2011

ECJ issues warning to online marketplace operators

In L’Oréal SA v eBay International AG, the ECJ has provided clarification on the liability of companies operating internet marketplaces for trademark infringement committed by users, holding that, in certain circumstances, the operator can be liable for trademark infringement as a result of the postings of its users.

12 July 2011

eBay says it “can live with” today’s major ECJ judgment

Online marketplace eBay has said it “can live with” today’s judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in the ongoing litigation brought against it by L’Oréal. eBay told WTR that it was hoping for more clarity on a number of points, but that the ruling in general reflects “what eBay already does” with regard to stopping the sale of counterfeits on its platform.

01 July 2011

The road to EU adoption of ACTA begins here – settle down for a long journey

The process of the European Union adopting and implementing the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement has begun, with the European Commission determining that each individual member state must approve the controversial agreement. One former Member of the European Parliament has said that this could become a “long process”.

16 June 2011

New EU borders regulation to extend protection beyond trademarks

The European Commission’s proposed new regulation concerning customs enforcement of IP rights would extend protection to trade names, topographies and utility models for the first time. “The new regulation will cover more infringements and more rights,” said Caroline Edery, who is heading up the Commission’s review of Regulation 1383 at DG TAXUD. “Presently we cover trademarks and designs, and only counterfeit products. Now we will cover all the infringements of trademarks and designs. And we’ll include other infringements, such as parallel trade and overruns.”

10 February 2011

Advocate general issues opinion on seizure of goods in transit by Customs

Advocate General Cruz Villalón has stated that goods in transit or temporary storage cannot automatically be considered to be counterfeit and, therefore, seized by Customs, without sufficient grounds for suspecting that the goods are to be put on the market in the European Union. However, "suspicions" based on circumstantial evidence and lack of detail in customs declarations may be sufficient to trigger seizure.

14 December 2010

eBay may be liable for trademark infringement by its customers

In L’Oréal SA v eBay International AG, Advocate General Jääskinen has suggested that eBay was not liable for the trademark infringements of its customers, but that it could become so if it failed to take further action once notified. He also stated that injunctions were available against eBay in relation to repeated or continued infringements featuring the same user and the same trademark.

14 July 2010

Political machinations threaten core mission of EU trademarks office

The European Union can be a very peculiar place. As readers of this blog will know, the community may soon add enforcement and anti-counterfeiting to the remit of its financially successful trademark registry, OHIM. For many, it is a strange proposal, and OHIM president Wubbo de Boer has now echoed trademark owners' fears that the idea may be underpinned by political and financial motivations.