Brands Update: Slovakian customs — release of counterfeit products to charities

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The Slovakian Parliament recently adopted a new act concerning the customs enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights. This comes into force on 1 January 2014. It reflects the changes introduced by the EU Regulation No. 608/2013 strengthening enforcement rights for customs authorities and aimed at more effective protection of IP rights within the EU market.

Unfortunately, the way the act deals with the possible disposal of counterfeits contradicts the declared goal of the regulation to ensure more effective protection for right holders.

According to the current Slovakian national legislation, seized or detained goods that infringe IP rights can be offered for humanitarian purposes only with the written consent of the rights holder. The new act abandons this rule and enables counterfeited goods to be donated for humanitarian purposes without the rights holder’s consent…

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