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New powers for judges in the fight against counterfeiting

Home > Intellectual Property in France | Published 2015-07-15

The parallel markets for counterfeiting and piracy represent $200 billion in annual revenue for the international merchandise trade, according to OCED estimates. The development of counterfeiting and piracy is stimulated by the growth of world trade, the development of free zones, and the growth of the Internet. Counterfeiting now affects all kinds of products, such as cultural goods, luxury items, food products, computer items, etc. Furthermore, counterfeiting threatens all forms of intellectual property rights: copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc.

The October 29, 2007 Law: Introduction

The law of October 29, 2008 is designed to combat counterfeiting. The act strengthens the rights of commonly counterfeited objects that are protected by the Intellectual Property Code, including copyrights, patents, trademarks, and designs.

The most significant provisions discuss the rules of jurisdiction and how to assess injury sustained by title-holders.

Provisions to prevent imminent harm or to prevent further acts of infringement

The law introduces the possibility of obtaining, under penalty if necessary, any measure to prevent imminent harm to order cessation of infringement action. These may include:

  • Prohibit continuation of infringement activities
  • Order counterfeiting activities to guarantee appropriate compensation to the title-holder (i.e. in the form of a bond)
  • Order the seizure of counterfeit products to prevent their entry into or movement within the channels of commerce
  • Grant the injured party damages and interest in installments if the charge of infringement is not seriously challenged
  • Order repossessions if the applicant provides proof of circumstances likely to endanger the recovery of damages

The range of measures gives judges some latitude. However, generally it is intended that substantive proceedings be brought within a certain period, and then the court may order the execution of such measures.

The provisions for calculating damages

Another important aspect of the law is its innovative methods for calculating damages. These can be dissuasive or punitive, with the option to allocate the counterfeits’ profits to the victim or award the appropriate licensing fees that the infringer would normally have had to pay.

The Intellectual Property Code provides that the court of civil proceedings may order the presentation of a number of documents and information.

Given the gravity of situations of infringement, it is important to seek council and employ the services of a knowledgeable intellectual property lawyer. Picovschi Lawyers are there to defend your interest.

Sources : Law No. 2007-1544 on the fight against counterfeiting on October 29, 2007. Lamy Journal of Law of the Intangible - 2008

This article is available online for public information purposes. It is updated regularly, as needed. Due to the constant evolution of the laws and the legal system, we cannot guarantee that the information in this article is still applicable. We invite you to contact us with any legal questions or concerns you have regarding this topic at +33 1 56 79 11 00. In no way can this firm be held liable for articles that contain inaccuracies or are now out of date.

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