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September 22, 2014

In furtherance to the anti-counterfeiting objectives and dedicated protection of the Intellectual Property Rights, United IPR in association with the European Community of Trademark Association (ECTA) has made a breakthrough by organizing a series of customs training road-shows across different Customs Ports in India. The recent training events were held at the ports of Ahmedabad and Nhava Sheva (Mumbai) on the 4th and 9th of April, 2014 respectively. Training at the Port of Ahmedabad was headed by the Commissioner of Customs, Captain Sanjay Gehlot; while at the Port of Nhava Sheva, it was headed by the Additional Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Rajiv Kapoor. The workshops received participation from a consortium of popular brands like L’Oreal, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, LVMH, Christian Dior, Polo Ralph Lauren, RayBan, Superdry, Crocs, Louis Philippe, Skullcandy and Tommy Hilfiger.

 

India is a developing economy and has an exponentially high demand for fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs). As a consequence of high consumption of FMCGs, the Indian market remains one of the prime targets for counterfeiters, especially of the neighbouring countries. With a view to guard itself against the menace of counterfeiting, which has radical effects spreading across every field and sector of the industry as also on the public health, the Indian government has developed enforcement regulations and measures to implement stringent actions to curb fakes in the Indian market by enacting the IPR (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules in the year 2007. These rules are by way of border protection measures and vests the Indian Customs with powers of detention, confiscation and destruction of counterfeits.

 

The Indian Customs are vested with the primary responsibility of revenue collection. However, in the wake of the alarming situation of rampant counterfeiting and the pivotal role of the Indian Customs in combating the menace, it is quintessential to sensitize the IPR laws by imparting training to the customs officers on the intricacies of the enforcement regime and on the unique aspect of product identification. The said training workshops have been successful in not only creating an awareness on the prevailing legal regime, but also on addressing the practical difficulties experienced by the right-holders and by the Customs authorities in enforcement of the IPR rules. The customs officers who attended the training workshops exhibited immense intent and willingness to understand the functioning of the IPR system and of the identification features of the participating brands. The value addition created by these workshops is further manifested from the written feedback shared by the attendees.

 

With this positive note, it can safely be concluded that Indian Customs authorities are now better equipped to tackle the infringement and counterfeiting cases and will report more number of seizures in times to come.