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IP NEWS: Counterfeit Products in Transit can be seized in Malta

Sunday, 06 March 2011 19:01

In what is considered to be a landmark case, the First Hall Civil Hall in Malta has upheld that counterfeit products which would be in transit through Malta and detained by Customs on the basis of the Intellectual Property Rights Cross Border Measures) Act of 2000 (Chapter  414 of the Laws of Malta) can be seized, and this independent of what is contemplated in the EC Regulation 1383/2003 of July 22, 2003 concerning "customs action agsint goods suspected of infringing certain intellectual property rights and the measures to be taken against goods found to have infringed such rights" as well as prevailing ECJ jurisprudence.

The judgment given on February 24, 2011 has provided a clarification of the Malta legal position on the seizure of counterfeits in transit in view of the many ECJ judgments such as Sisvel/Sosecal and the Montex/Diesel Cases including the recent AG's opinion in the Nokia/HMRC case which has provided that counterfeits could only be seized within the EU if they were destined to a Member State and therefore, within the EU Market.

The relative judgment has shown that Malta's position against counterfeits is serious.