Why Customs can help patent owners
Customs authorities provide an effective weapon against counterfeit goods in Europe.
Jasper Helder and Francis van Velsen of Simmons & Simmons in Rotterdam
examine their relevance in defending patent rights
The last decade of the 20th century saw a dramatic increase
in imports into the EU of counterfeit goods. This trend is
continuing in the first years of the 21st century. One of the
main aims of the European Customs authorities is the fight
against the import into the EU of products that infringe IP
rights. Customs have been authorized to detain goods based on
three anti-piracy regulations.
The Customs Regulation provides a preliminary measure. For
patent cases this preliminary measure is executed without any
assessment of infringement by Customs. After all, unlike many
counterfeit cases, patent infringement involves assessing the
scope of claims (often for complex technology) instead of a
visual comparison (as in trade mark or design cases). This
article explores the development of the Customs Regulation and
its application in daily practice in patent cases.
History of the Regulation
The European Council adopted Anti-Piracy Regulation 3295/94
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