Customs Seizure

The seizure of infringing goods by the customs authorities presents a favorable and effective way of enforcing intellectual property rights.

The information which the owner of a protective right receives via a customs seizure procedure finally enables him to track the distribution of pirated goods throughout the world. The seizure of counterfeits already on the borders prevents such products from entering into the market and thus reduces considerably the danger of exploiting reputation or dilution of a trademark or a company's loss of reputation regarding a technical product or design. It is very unpleasant for a well-known enterprise if one of its products appears on the market as counterfeit, which for example does not fulfill the domestic safety requirements and the use of which may be life-threatening. Cases like this can be read in the news, be it for example a home trainer with a broken pedal arm or a water heater melting from overheating and producing electric shocks.

Due to our many years of experience in customs seizure procedures at home and abroad, we may assist you from the beginning. At first, the borders to be protected have to be determined. In case of domestic enterprises located in Germany, the German borders, but even more often, the European external borders have to be protected. For this purpose it is recommendable to file a Europe-wide uniform request for customs seizure. The protective rights upon which such application is based, have to be selected carefully. In many cases, trademarks prove to be very successful in customs seizure procedures, which is due to the fact that the involved customs officers can detect trademark infringements much easier than infringements of technical protective rights such as patents, as this requires regular and careful inspections, which cannot be provided by the customs offices.

Such a request for customs seizure has to be adapted in detail. This means in particular to select the characteristic features identifying counterfeits and forgers. During its one-year term, the request for customs seizure has to be revised and updated regularly, in order to guarantee that the respective competent customs offices have the current and essential data to detect potential infringements of your industrial property rights instantly and easily. Updating your request for customs seizure is also one of the tasks we take over for you.

If a costums office detects a potential counterfeit, we will be informed instantly. The customs office will provide us with the details of the sender and recipient as well as with photographs and specimen of the detected goods. Afterwards, within very short terms of ususally 10 working days, it has to be proved whether these are indeed counterfeits, or original products. In this respect we support you by giving you preparing information which means gathering the required data via the customs offices, verifying the persons or enterprises hiding behind the sender etc. If a counterfeit is detected, mostly a simplified destruction can be carried out. Only in few cases - as we know from experience - it is indeed unavoidable to enforce destruction of the counterfeits by way of an action. All these measures we take for you in the light of our many years of experience. We have a network of store keepers, transport agents, recyclers (being in charge of destructing the found goods) and foreign lawyers, which ensures a smooth handling of the customs seizures for you.

Besides continuously adapting your request for customs seizure, a regular training of the customs offices is a good way to optimize the effectiveness of your request for customs seizure. In such trainings we teach the customs officers, how to detect counterfeits of your products most instantly and easily. Moreover, this creates a personal relation between the customs offices and you as holder of the request for customs seizure, which increases the customs officers' attentiveness while checking the corresponding goods. We will be pleased to coordinate and to realize such a customs training with you and for you.

We are looking forward to serving you.

Please contact us by phone at no. +49 221 37 987 900

 

Dr. Christoph Geskes
Patent Attorney (Owner)

 

Holger Grauel
Attorney-at-Law (Of Counsel)

 

Franziska Kramer
Attorney-at-Law (Employed)

 

Dr. Daniel Künkel
Graduate Business Lawyer (Employed)