back to article Firms must go to court to stop all counterfeit hauls

Companies will have to go to court every time they want counterfeit goods to be stopped at the UK's borders following a policy change that could send costs soaring for intellectual property rights holders. The change means that a rights holders will need to take court action within 10 days every time it wants suspected …


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  1. Mike007


    great news for ebay

  2. James O'Brien

    Well then. . .

    This should be interesting to say the least.

    {Lame yes I know) I for one welcome our counterfeiting overlords

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whilst IP is all that the UK really has, and eroding that helps to get the economy back on track and the currency down.

    What this does is pay the lawyers, and lawyers are the worst, they don't generally create anything apart from problems.

    So, I suppose give up on IP for the UK, that seems to make the most sense, don't assume you will able to protect your product design, in the UK market. So, goodbye to the design sector. Not much left now.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds sensible

    They can recover the costs from the importer so cost doesn't come into it. Those ad hock seizures, where being abused.

  5. Dan 10


    This sounds like a major backward step - if a rights holder has to keep taking legal action against each and every shipment of fake goods, this will cost an awful lot of cash. Thus you would need to sue the owner of the pirated items, AND they would need to cough up the cash as a result, otherwise the rights holder simply goes out of business. They could, of course, charge the rest of us a fortune to buy their goods and cover their costs, but the higher prices are just likely to stimulate the counterfeit market even further, impacting their profits and hey presto, they still go out of business.

    Alternatively, the profit margins may become sufficiently small that it becomes unviable to trade in the UK at all.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Oh really?

    What they said:

    "The key point here is that counterfeiters, when told that goods have been detained, will be able to tell rights holders to sue them or they'll be getting their goods back,"

    What will actually happen:

    "The key point here is that counterfeiters, when told that goods have been detained, will need to keep quiet and not make a fuss for ten days and then they'll get their goods back,"

    Or am I missing something here?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Sounds about right to me.

    You should need proof, or as close as can be obtained, in order to retain goods permanently. If a court has decided that a witness statement does not constitute sufficient proof then so be it. This sounds like the correct course of action. If the goods aren't worth protecting then what value does the counterfeited brand have?

    Similarly, when will HMRC begin to comply with european policy on personal importing - you should indeed be able to bring as much of anything you like back for personal use without fear of your car being impounded and without bullying from customs guards. After all, you have already paid the duty and tax on it under european and british law. This is a natural consequence of an open market - you cannot have it both ways.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Common sense

    Finally a bit of common sense. I used to work for a company that was always getting goods stopped, ultimately they were always proved to be the real deal, but rights holders for too long have been lying to authorities in order to gain a commercial advantage, or even just to spy on their customers.

  9. Marc Savage

    Sounds fair to me

    Is this the same HMRC we know and hate ?

    It will also stop Ip holders from doing dodgies

  10. Throatwobbler Mangrove
    Thumb Up

    hold on, hold on

    "This sounds like a major backward step - if a rights holder has to keep taking legal action against each and every shipment of fake goods,"

    Yes, but that presupposes that the goods are fake. If you are asking the State to seize and destroy the property of another person, you should have to go through a court. It's a check on the capriciousness of the (alleged) IP holders and on the customs boys. And if there's abuse of process by manufacturers to stop legal parallel imports, then that would be contempt of court - which the judiciary really don't like. It doesn't have to be that elaborate a process - I would imagine that most owners of seized goods don't dispute it...

  11. Simon B

    UK - The new capital of fake goods

    Seems like the UK is taking a leaf out of other countrys books, and becoming a capital of fake goods!!! where 90% of all goods will be counterfeit. nothing like progress eh!

  12. Barrie Shepherd


    Good decision - British justice needs to be reminded that it is "Innocent till proved (in a Court) Guilty" - There has been too much scope creep requiring innocent parties to justify their innocence. Well done HMRC

  13. Rab Sssss

    oh wow

    You mean thay actually need to have something other than the complainers word? whats the world coming to...

  14. Trevor Watt

    How does this EU rule get ignored by the French then?

    If your caught personaly importing fake designer goods like a handbag or pair of sunglasses into France then the French Customs Police make you destroy the item there and then.

    Looks like the French are just ignoring anouther EU rule they helped make, but don't like...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Innocent UNLESS proven guilty

    Yet another case of Europe reminding UK authorities about this pesky thing called "due process" rather than just someone's say so.

    We used to have decent laws here back along, until the control freaks trashed the country.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @Barrie Shepherd

    HMRC don't deserve the credit, they're just doing what they're told. You know, following orders, just like yesterday when they were prosecuting "suspected" counterfeiters without hard evidence.

  17. Neoc

    Double standards?

    Just reading some of the comments on this thread and I am amazed by the double-standards being used.

    So, the RIAA and MPAA shouldn't be allowed to just accuse somebody without proof to get them knocked off the web; but if it comes to physical goods, the word of the IP holder is enough? And you're telling me this has never been abused by an IP holder in order to restrict trade?

    If I make an accusation against my neighbour, I had better be able to prove it before I open my mouth. Why should IP holders be held to a different standard? If you don't have enough proof to take to court, then you do not have enough proof to have the shipment seized for you by the government.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some commenters don't seem to have a problem with counterfeit goods

    Perhaps you aren't bothered that the market stalls sell fake Chanel perfumes or Gucci handbags. But how would you feel if the drugs being used to treat your child's meningitis were poor quality copies? Of if your grandmother's artificial hip wasn't surgical ourity metal? Of the break discs on the bus behind you were about to fall apart?

  19. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    @Some commenters don't seem to have a problem with counterfeit goods

    That would likely be because many IP holders use such laws to attempt to restrict not only "counterfit goods," but to attempt to eliminate the "grey market" of legit goods imported from another "sales region."

    If Bob K Random was a huge fan of Video Game Z, and the game manufacturer decided that he lived in a country where the new release wouldn't show up for three months, should he not be allowed to import that game from another country? Since the laws on that sort of grey importing are up in the air, in order to get thier way, many IP holders claim that such things are "counterfeit goods," and have them impounded.

    There are other examples, however this law isn't designed to allow more counterfiet goods, but rather to stop the abuses from IP holders trying to futher restrict competition and trade.

  20. John Dougald McCallum


    Beleive it or not ,but most Corporations with IP worth stealing do have fairly good intelegence sources,so have a fair idea when goods that are fake are about to enter a specific market other wise they would not know when to make a statement to HMRC in the first place.Now though they will have to be absolutly certain of their facts 'cos the Courts donot like Co.s or individuals that are in Court almost every day.Of course the Courts also need to speed up their decision making in relation to these cases.Also as I read the article HMRC will hold the disputed items until told other wise when informed that an aplication to the Court has been made.

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