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MARKET ENFORCEMENT

Raids are conducted on the premises of Factories, Manufacturing Locations, Assembling Locations, Showrooms, Retailers, Warehouses, Wholesalers and Stockists where infringing or counterfeit goods are stored or found.

 

Step 1  Investigation & Sighting Report

 

Sighting report is based on investigation and contains the following details:

 

  • Name & Address of the premises/people involved in infringing/counterfeit goods
  • Relevant Jurisdiction
  • Type of Business Activity (manufacturing/ wholesale/ retail)
  • Estimated Quantity
  • Photographs of the products/location
  • Proposed legal action – civil or criminal
  • Estimated time in conducting the legal action
  • Estimated costs.

 

Step 2    Determination of appropriate Course of Legal Action

 

  • Civil Action – involves filing of a civil suit for injunction, damages and search and seizure action through the assistance of Court Commissioner. An ex-parte injunction  order  is  obtained  and  a  raid  is organised  &  executed.  Damages  are claimed against the infringer, however, there are no arrests made. Seized goods are destroyed after complete adjudication of the case.

 

  • Criminal Action – includes search & seizure action directly through the police. In case of a criminal action, the  accused  is  imprisoned; however, the claim of damages does not subsist. Goods  are  stored  in  the  police  warehouse  and subsequently destroyed.

 

Step 3  Execution of Raid by United IPR

 

  • Lawyers who are well versed with the product identification
  • Support staff to obtain photos/videos and assist in the search & seizure action
  • Court Commissioner (only in cases of Civil Action)
  • Investigators
  • Representative/s of the right-holder (upon right-holder’s discretion)
  • Police Officials from the concerned jurisdiction
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ONLINE ENFORCEMENT

The boundless growth of Internet and its accessibility to people across the world has led to a huge increase in IPR violations and related issues over the Internet. Enforcement of Intellectual Property over the Internet is a sphere which we undertake with utmost sincerity and dedication. IPR violations over the Internet have seen a huge increase in the last half a decade with the upspring of newer business models such as e-commerce platforms and marketplaces and we have kept pace with it.

 

We have a separate department within our organization dealing with Internet Violations which specifically deals with IPR violations taking place over and through various means on the Internet. Our Internet Violation Department deals with the following matters:

 

  • Internet Counterfeiting/ Sale of Fakes over Internet
  • Other forms of IPR Infringement over the Internet
  • ‘Intermediary’ Liability
  • Domain Name Disputes (Cyber-squatting)
  • Infringement of Design/Trademarks/Copyrights on the World Wide Web
  • Mala fide Registration of Fake Email-Ids
  • E-commerce IPR violations

 

We provide the following services –

 

  • Dedicated Internet Monitoring Services
  • Arranging & Conducting Test/Trap Purchases
  • Drafting & Serving Cease & Desist Legal Notices
  • Drafting & Serving Take-Down Requests
  • Reporting IPR Violations
  • Take-Down/Blocking of Listings and URL(s)
  • Filing Cyber Complaints with Cyber Cell, Government of India
  • Carrying out Domain Name Disputes Arbitration (NIXI & UDRP)
  • Filing Cases and Litigation in Courts
  • Negotiation and Settlement
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Dedicated Internet Monitoring Services

Our dedicated monitoring team comprising of paralegals and web analysts regularly carry out comprehensive scanning and analysis of the Internet to flag instances of counterfeiting and/or infringement of the IP Rights of our clients.The efficient monitoring system with double checks and balances ensures that right-holders can be free of the burden of conducting such due-diligence themselves and ensures that no infringement goes un-noticed.

We also provide end-to-end services towards conducting and arranging Test Purchases from websites and online sellers which acts as key evidence.

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Drafting and Serving of Legal Notices

Our team of Attorneys and Lawyers provide expert services towards drafting and serving Cease & Desist Legal Notices on websites and other online infringers as per the needs of the client and applicable case facts and law.

The team is well-experienced in dealing with complex issues of claim drafting and responding to replies of notices in the form of rejoinders and replies which are key towards the rights of clients.

Enforcing IP Rights through Litigation

 

For Online Infringers which are not inclined towards giving up the acts of infringement even after Legal Notices and warning letters, we provide end-to-end services towards filing and pursuing litigation (civil and criminal remedies) before the appropriate Courts/Tribunals across the country.

 

We provide Legal Solutions against all the following types of Entities/Operators existing in the Online Space –   

 

  1. E-Retail Websites
  2. Marketplace Websites (Intermediary Model)
  3. Social Media Websites
  4. Comparison Websites
  5. Cyber – Squatters (Domain Name Infringements)

 

Social Media

 

Social Media Websites or platforms have become common medium for operation of business activities. Such social media platforms provide space for advertisement and outreach to substantial range of public at very low prices. Organizations operate by the mode of creating dedicated profiles or pages on such platforms and then advertising the same with the aid of these platforms.

 

After obtaining injunction order on behalf of the right-holders from the Courts, we send take down requests to social media websites to remove the infringing contents. A team of paralegals and lawyers dedicatedly work to cover ground against counterfeiting and infringement through Take-Down Requests to these platforms.

 

Comparison Websites

 

Comparison websites is a relatively newer model which has come up in recent times. These websites do not maintain a list of sellers and products themselves, but instead provide services wherein the user can compare the rates/prices at which a particular product is being sold by different, existing ecommerce websites. Such websites incur liability as they are engaged in providing a platform to the sellers for display and advertisement of their products over the internet.

 

Cyber – Squatters

 

Cyber squatting is the act where the infringer/counterfeiter registers a domain name which is same or similar to a popular registered trademark over which he himself has no rights. The infringer does this, with the intention of deceiving the public and projecting himself as the rightful owner of the said trademark/brand. E.g. an infringer can register a particular domain name and deceive online buyers into believing that name by unfair means.

 

This qualifies as trade mark infringement, which can be resolved as per –

 

  • Dispute resolution under the UNDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) or INDRP (.IN Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy)
  • Relief from Court of law in a trademark infringement suit

 

Social Media has seen exponential growth in the past decade. In this short span of time it has been increasingly clear that whether one frequently uses it or not, the power of a click of button goes beyond something so innocently simple. Various crimes are now being conducted via such websites and IP infringement being on the topmost list. In our firm, we understand the need of the hour and study the current trends of crimes being committed in such social platforms and strive to provide our clients the best legal protection one can hope to find.

CUSTOM ENFORCEMENT

On May 8, 2007, the Central Government issued Notification No. 49/2007-Customs (N.T.) that prohibited the import of certain goods subject to the conditions and procedures as specified in the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007.

 

The Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007 came into existence to strengthen the statutory and executive guidelines provided for the protection of intellectual property rights at the borders. These Rules have been formed based on the line of TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) and WCO (World Customs Organization).

 

Under the Rules, infringing goods are defined as “goods which are made, reproduced, put into circulation or otherwise used in breach of the intellectual property laws in India or outside India and without the consent of the right holder or a person duly authorized to do so by the right holder”. The rules define intellectual property law as “the Copyright Act, 1957, the Trade Marks Act, 1999, the Patents Act, 1970, the Designs Act, 2000 or the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999”.

Step 1:

Registration with Customs – Filing Application and obtaining Unique Temporary Registration Number – approval from the Commissioner of Customs – grant of Unique Permanent Registration Number

Step 2:

Suspension of Clearance of suspected infringing goods by the Customs either on notice by the right holder or suo moto by the Customs.

Step 3:

Examination of alleged infringing goods and submission of Authenticity Report by the Right-holder

Step 4:

Execution of Surety Bond at 110% of the Assessed Value and Security Deposit by way of Bank Guarantee or Fixed Deposit at 25% of the Bond Amount by the Right-holder in favour of the Commissioner of Customs.

Step 5:

Adjudication by Customs Authority

  • Show Cause Notice
  • Hearings
  • Order for Absolute Confiscation of Infringing Goods, Penalty on Importer or Disposal / destruction of infringing goods

United IPR implements border protection measures for IPR enforcement as a ‘Knowledge Partner’ with Indian Customs and imparts training in cooperation with

  • World Custom Organization (WCO)
  • Asian Coalition Against Counterfeiting And Piracy (ACACAP)
  • European Communities Trademark Association (ECTA)
  • Business Action Against Counterfeiting And Piracy (BASCAP)