Cotance defend intellectual property rights22 April 2008
Cotance is stepping up actions in the defence of the leather sector's Intellectual Property Rights. A Newsflash has been up-loaded on the Euroleather site (COTANCE links up to the European Commission website) allowing real-time intelligence about counterfeit shipments to customs in the member states.
The application form procedure (Regulations 1383/2003 and 1891/2004), whereby rightholders ask customs to look out for and detain products which infringe their intellectual property, is an essential element of any anti-counterfeiting strategy. Part of the form is dedicated to rightholders providing information to customs about their products so as to help them to target fake consignments. However, as it is an annual procedure, many companies do not know how to inform customs when any new or supplementary intelligence comes to light. Further to industry pressure on authorities, the Commission's customs department, DG TAXUD, together with other stakeholders worked closely with operational customs officers to devise two intelligence forms. The first is a ‘red alert', to be used for passing urgent intelligence: eg the rightholder knows that a particular consignment is en route. The second, the ‘new trends' form, is to alert customs to new routes of fraud, concealment methods or other new and important developments. The forms are now on DG TAXUD's site, together with a list of national contact points in the customs administrations to whom they should be sent and who will ensure the rapid onward transmission of the intelligence to the ports and airports. Both forms can be found by clicking here. This is of great practical value to rightholders and members are requested to disseminate this information as widely as possible, inside and outside their organisations. Note that there is no legal requirement to complete them; this is a practical tool aimed at improving the real-time flow of intelligence and to help customs to help in fighting the counterfeit menace!