With the advancements of technology and the speed at which sophisticated scanners and printers are now able to reproduce or imitate an original product, the cases of infringement and counterfeit goods within the marketplace is at its high. Counterfeiting has vastly moved on from imitation handbags and designers clothing. With the costs of 3D printers now becoming affordable, more and more people are taking the opportunity to stand under the coat tails of successful brand owners and their successful brands.
Furthermore, today's infringers are using powerful computers and techniques to target carefully select goods that if not detected may impose a health and safety risk to consumers. Examples include imitation alcohol that contain high doses of chemicals that can be deadly; poor quality parts for the automotive and aviation industry, and in the pharmaceutical industry, drugs are being made and sold with the inappropriate levels of ingredient (in some case no or wrong ingredients) which can have a serious risk on consumers who depend on the drugs or are not made aware of ingredients that would otherwise be avoided.
Our solicitors are able to deploy quick anti-counterfeiting measures to prevent the introduction of infringing and counterfeit products from entering into your territory, the UK and even the EU.
We also have the experience and contacts with HM Customs and Revenue's Intellectual Property Authorisation Unit to cease and destroy products as they arrive into UK and EU ports/customs. We have litigators who can apply for an emergency order for an injunction, search order, freezing order or delivery up of products. Our specialist Intellectual Property Solicitors are able to advance and invoke both the civil and criminal sanctions for infringement of intellectual property rights that counterfeiting involves. Legislation includes, but not limited to, the Trade Mark Act 1994, Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, The Olympic Symbol Protection Act 1995, Goods Infringing Intellectual Property Rights (Customs) Regulations 2004 and the Counterfeit and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1172/2007.
Comprehensive and working knowledge of these legislations is key to providing our clients with accurate and focused advice every time.
Domain name disputes
Domain names are the virtual gateway to millions of businesses wide world. What was once thought to be a waste of money, domain names are now recognised as a highly valuable asset. They are at the centre of brand development strategies and can increase traffic and visibility of online presence within hours if marketed properly.
The race to register the next million-dollar.com means that valuable names get registered rapidly, often by the wrong person with the intention to hold it to anothers ransom or to frustrate the business of another.
Disputes arising from abusive registrations of domain names (also known as cybersquatting) can be addressed by expedited administrative proceedings governed by the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, proceedings that a trade mark rights holder initiates before an approved dispute-resolution service provider.
We have years of collective experience dealing with domain name disputes, drafting formal complaints with approved dispute-resolution service providers, drafting responses to complaints all concerning the recovery or prevention of a domain name.
With the globalisation of commerce and the ability to set up a dot.com business over night, more and more businesses are turning to the internet to source products, often to save money. A parallel import is the importation of goods (that are protected by a patent or trade mark) from the country where the rights owner has already introduced the goods - meaning that the rights have been exhausted.
Owners of products covered by intellectual property rights have the exclusive right to put such products on the market. On the other hand, there is little doubt that once the owner of an intellectual property right has put such goods on the market either himself or with his consent, there is little he can do about further acts of commercial exploitation, such as re-sale, for example, on the domestic market.
If products sold or imported by third parties fall within the scope of patents, trademarks or copyrights valid in this particular country, such sale or importation by third parties is generally deemed infringing.
If you require advice concerning parallel imports, we can help. Our IP team has years of experience and are on hand to help you.
Your trade mark, reputation of your business and the quality of your goods and services are all valuable assets, all equally worth protecting, exploiting and enforcing. Letting others use your valuable assets may dilute or even tarnish the attractive force that you have built.
We understand the value of brands and how important it is for you and your business. We provide practical commercial solutions for your specific issue and are ready to help.
Problems with goods or services?
There are many ways in which problems with goods and services can disrupt a business, as service that is not conducted with the required skill and care, miss-selling or mis-description of goods, the sale of defective goods and breaches of sales agreements all cost time and money to resolve taking you away from running you business.
Our team assists businesses in bringing as well as defending claims. We can assist you with investigating the alleged breaches, helping guide you through making a formal claim as well as responding to the business or consumer that has made a complaint to you.
With the recent changes to consumer trading regulations and the need to make consumers aware of alternative dispute resolution we can advise on the most effective method to resolve your dispute using alternative dispute resolution.