The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Squire Patton Boggs provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note provides guidance on the issues to consider and steps to take when tasked with tackling identified instances of counterfeiting and piracy. Since neither of these terms have universally accepted definitions, they are used in this Practice Note to denote acts of trade mark infringement (counterfeiting) and copyright infringement (piracy) which constitute criminal offences as well as attracting civil liability. In this Practice Note, the word ‘target’ is used to refer to counterfeiters and pirates alike.
This Practice Note does not detail the statutory provisions, and associated case law, relating to infringement and the associated offences which are most typically relevant to counterfeiting and piracy. They are properly the subject of a separate Practice Note produced specifically for that purposes, see Practice Note: Anti-counterfeiting.Trade Marks Act 1994, ss 10, 92Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, ss 16–18, 22–23, 27, 107
Instead, it is assumed that the fact of the infringement and offence is beyond reasonable doubt and that the real challenge faced is working out what, practically, to do about it.
The strategies and challenges associated with taking on targets who know what they are doing is unlawful but are determined to continue doing it anyway, is very different to those associated with taking on otherwise legitimate competitors who have over-borrowed elements of branding and/or copyright works for their own products and strayed into infringement territory.
Bluntly, a letter before action and threat of infringement proceedings, which is typically the first (and often successful) step in an infringement dispute between two primarily legitimate businesses, is highly unlikely to work against targets of this nature.
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