Customs: new regulations to block counterfeit merchandise

The Customs Regulations 2013 relative to the protection of intellectual property rights by the customs authority have been recently approved, which from next 1 January 2014 shall abrogate and substitute the CE Regulations 1383/2003 in force. It should be remembered that the customs procedure allows owners of industrial property rights to intervene so that eventual merchandise that violates their own rights shall be blocked in the phase of entry into the European Union and has therefore the undoubtful advantage of controlling counterfeit before it extends in the territory involved. One of the most significant news introduced is the possibility of defending through the so-called customs block not just trademarks, patents and design but also «commercial names, as long as protected as an exclusive intellectual property right pursuant to national and the Union’s regulations». Pursuant to the new regulations among the merchandise that is suspected of violation of an intellectual property right are included also «devices, goods or components mainly projected, produced or adapted with the purpose of rendering possible or facilitating the avoidance of any technology, device or component that, during its normal functioning, impedes or limits the acts relative to works not authorized by the owner of the copyright or of any other related right and that concern an action that violates said rights in such a member State; any mold or die specifically destined or adapted to the manufacturing of merchandise that violate an industrial property right, if such molds or dies concern an action that violates an intellectual property right in such a member State”. Like before, it will be possible to request the customs intervention both at central level, through a unitary application, and in a single nation, with a national application.