A fake, even very similar to the original, almost never beats it in quality. Counterfeit goods create negativity for buyers, which turns against the legitimate manufacturer. Counterfeit products cause significant damage to the brand, its reputation, and income stability. Fighting counterfeit products is a way to protect your name and financial well-being in the market.
The protection of property and the fight against counterfeiting begins exclusively at the initiative of the copyright holder or his legal representative. This can be an appeal to the offender, to the administrative authorities or to the court.
It is worth distinguishing between several concepts that relate to counterfeit products:
- Direct counterfeiting is a fake of industrial property. For example, TM or logo (“Chanel” bags), industrial samples (the same bags), inventions (composition of agricultural chemistry).
- Falsification – fakes that can cause significant harm to health. Most often they are applied to drugs, alcohol.
- Piracy is copyright infringement. These are software and objects related to the IT direction.
SION’s specialists have gained experience in combating piracy, counterfeit and falsification products. We take protective measures that save customers from illegal use, copying, distribution of their products or registered identity. The process is complex, but the experience and practice of our lawyers help to cope.
The first step is to understand that the company’s product is being counterfeited. And then take steps to prevent illegal actions. Several important signs that counterfeits are on the market are:
- the company’s profit has sharply decreased;
- from regular customers, messages began to come that the quality of products had deteriorated;
- the demand for products has decreased;
- there were negative reviews from consumers.
In Ukraine, the issue of protection began to develop about 20 years ago. However, lawyers who specialize in such cases already have an established set of measures to combat counterfeiting products (anti counterfeiting solutions).
With a competent systematic approach, infringement of intellectual property (IP) rights will not escape responsibility. We use the following methods, We:
- do an IP audit, highlight important objects, and develop strategies for their protection.
- monitor the market and the Internet, and study the geography of the distribution of counterfeits.
- place IP objects in customs registers. This helps to prevent their movement across borders.
- collect evidence of the sale of illegal products, and we carry out actions to suppress them.
- prepare claims, act as mediators between the copyright holder and the violator.
- initiate investigations to find channels for the supply of raw materials, packaging, equipment for making counterfeits, and places of production.
- transfer materials to law enforcement agencies, write appeals to the Antimonopoly Committee (AMC), customs service, court, and accompany cases.
Responsibility for the sale of counterfeit products
Copy, replica, fake – things on which someone else’s logo is illegally placed, a form protected by law (industrial design) is used, etc. Ukrainian legislation provides for liability for the production and sale of counterfeit, falsification and pirated products.
IP is protected by laws on intellectual property, on the protection of consumer rights (part 4 of article 6), the Civil Code of Ukraine (CCU), the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Responsibility is stipulated in the Criminal Code of Ukraine and the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses. The CCU provides for the confiscation of illegal products (Article 432).
The measure is chosen by the court taking into account the seriousness of the infringement. Art. 1649 of the Code of Administrative Offenses provides for a fine for trading in counterfeit software in the amount of 10-100 tax-free minimums and confiscation of products. In the Criminal Code of Ukraine, penalties for illegal actions are more serious:
- Art. 216 (manufacture, sale of pirated software) – a fine of 500-1000 non-taxable minimums.
- Art. 204 (manufacture, storage, sale of excisable goods (alcohol, tobacco, fuel) – a fine of 5,000-10,000 non-taxable minimums plus confiscation of goods, the worst case is imprisonment.
- Art. 229 (illegal use of trademarks and names) – a fine from 1000-4000 non-taxable minimums, the worst case is a ban on holding certain positions or engaging in specified activities.
- Art. 321 (falsification, sale of drugs) – 5-15 years in prison.
If a store sells counterfeit goods imported or manufactured illegally, we, on the basis of a power of attorney from the copyright holder, notify him of the violation. And that the site is also a violator, to whom a penalty can be levied. If you cannot reach an understanding, you have to go to court or other authorities.
Combating counterfeiting in Ukraine
In our country, food, alcohol, tobacco products, medicines, perfumes, shoes, tires, and other products are often counterfeited. As in other states, protection of rights begins exclusively with the filing of the copyright holder. Without a statement from him or an official representative, law enforcement agencies will not begin to take measures aimed at stopping the violation.
When counterfeit goods are found, it is important not only to get compensation for the violation, but how to withdraw the products from circulation. In Ukraine, the counterfeit market is very large. At the same time, our courts have already had a lot of precedents that can be guided by in order to suppress the circulation of counterfeits. SION has successful cases.
Our pride is the 914/1288/18 case. Within its framework, SION specialists proved that the batch of cookies that were exported was counterfeit, it was seized and destroyed. The exporter refused to recognize the rights of the copyright holder. Earlier, the latter (a cookie manufacturer) registered an industrial design in Ukraine at our filing, but we entered the received certificate into the customs registers of Ukraine and the EU. Thanks to this, the party was detained. This case is proof that the protection of rights and the fight against counterfeiting really work.
The cost of legal services for the suppression of counterfeit
To combat counterfeiting, methods are selected with an eye on the specific situation. The cost of legal support will depend on the chosen strategy and tactics, the need to collect evidence, the scope of the claim, and other points. To calculate the cost of cooperation, please write to us by mail: email@example.com.
It is not an easy task to identify counterfeit, prove a violation and bring the case to punishment of the violator. Thanks to their experience and a flexible approach to each case, our employees will try to achieve a solution that suits the copyright holder to the maximum. We strive to prevent manipulation of the content of the law, as well as to prove the need to remove the counterfeit without the possibility of returning it to circulation.
Counterfeit goods can ruin a company’s reputation, and it directly affects the possibility of earning money and lucrative contracts in the future. Our lawyers will protect clients from infringement of rights in the form of counterfeit products manufactured by third parties. Thus, they will protect their commercial interests in the present and in the future.