Most successful brands are copied. If you own a brand, design or copyright and want to successfully protect yourself against piracy, it is necessary to have a strategy. 

Whether clothes, perfume, watches, software or movies are involved, action against imitations should be effective. We are happy to advise you on the correct approach. Our advice focuses on the entire process of fighting piracy from the moment the infringement is detected up to conducting proceedings before a court.

Seizure

A first action may consist of stopping counterfeit and piracy products at the border. Cooperation with customs authorities is the most effective way to act against the import and transport of imitation goods. Immediately following seizure the goods have to be examined to ascertain whether they are counterfeit. If this is the case, it will be necessary to take further legal action.

Seizure can also take place at the location where counterfeit products are stored such as for example in distribution centers. Decisive action is crucial to prevent further transshipment. It is easier to seize a large consignment of goods rather than individual products. Once counterfeit products surface, it is often difficult to trace where the imitation goods will end up.

Even if counterfeit products wind up at a local market or rummage sale, it makes sense to take action. Usually in such cases the matter is settled amicably, without the necessity of a court procedure.

Court proceedings

If the other party is unwilling to settle out of court then proceedings will have to be initiated, in most cases interim proceedings. At relatively short notice a judgment can be obtained which can be enforced immediately. The advantage in matters of intellectual property rights is that the losing party is ordered to pay the total amount of legal costs of the other party. These costs are considerable, especially in cases where lengthy settlement negotiations and seizures occurred prior to the proceedings.

In a procedure destruction of the counterfeit products is usually claimed together with a claim for compensation of the damages suffered and reimbursement of legal costs. It is also recommended to request that the other party provides a list of the number of counterfeit products sold, of the suppliers and of the customers. In this way the scale of the illegal trade can be determined so that more effective action can be taken. One case often leads to more cases in the event of structural infringement of intellectual property rights.

Further information

We regularly represent holders of intellectual property rights. We have a script ready to efficiently tackle piracy at a very reasonable rate. Do you have questions about piracy or would you like to discuss a case? Please contact the Company and Insolvency section.