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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NOTICE FOR SUSPENSION OF CLEARANCE OF INFRINGING GOODS

The Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcements Rules 2007 allows registration of notice for suspension of clearance of infringing goods by Indian custom authorities, but rarely this notice is registered by Registered Proprietor/ Owners of Intellectual property rights (Right Holder).

Registration of notice allows the IP owner protection against import of infringed goods especially in case of Copyrights, Trademarks and Designs. Though Patents are also covered but they involve more technicality and expertise as compared to other IP rights. The period of protection is minimum one year unless any shorter period is demanded by the right holder.

The notice is to be filed along with certified copy of the IP right, Annexure containing details of Right Holder's rights as well as grounds for registration of notice and prescribed fee of INR 2000. An indemnity bond along with surety bond is to be supplied along with the request. Where such request is filed through an Attorney, POA should be supplied. 

Wherever required, the custom office may demand photographs or sample of the product/article/work (IP right). Where information is not provided in requisite format the Custom office may demand same from the Right holder.

Within 30 days of filing of such notice or providing of requisite information/details as demanded by custom authorities, the custom authorities have to either register such request or reject it. Once registered, the custom office shall inform the validity period of the notice, which is minimum of one year unless any shorter period is sought by right holder. Once notice is registered, the custom office notifies all custom offices covered under said notices.


Once any import of goods is suspended, the Custom office informs the right holder as well  as importer about such suspension with reasons for such suspension.


Where within 10 working days from the date of suspension of imported goods, the Right holder does not join the proceeding, the custom office may decide the matter on merit. The time limit may be extended by 10 working days by custom offices in appropriate cases.


The right holder and importer are allowed to examine the goods, even representative samples for examination, testing and analysis where felt necessary. 


Where the right holder joins the proceedings and the goods are found to be infringing the IP rights the custom officials can seize such goods. Under intimation to right holder, the seized goods would be destroyed under official supervision or disposed outside normal trading channel by custom authorities  and after obtaining NOC or concurrence from the right holder. The right holder may oppose to manner/mode of disposal by custom authorities within 20 day of information. The cost towards detention and destruction shall be borne by the right holder.


Goods of non-commercial nature contained in personal baggage or sent in small consignments for person use does not come under the purview of these regulations. 


However, in case of perishable goods such time limit is only 3 working days, further extendible to 4 working days where custom officials are satisfied and same does not affect the condition of goods.

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