Monday, 5 September 2011

It's enough to make your hair stand on end!

Here's some welcome good news for IP rights owners in Venezuela: a court there granted French hair appliance maker Babyliss the opportunity to secure precautionary measures against a business located in the Punto Fijo free-trade zone, which led to the seizure of 588 counterfeit hair straighteners. The court ordered confiscation and destruction of the goods once they had been identified as counterfeit by an expert, and the defendant agreed to cease selling such goods.

Curiously, this decision was based on the provisions of the 1993 Copyright Law, which regulate precautionary measures in favour of IP rights holders, in accordance with Supreme Court guidelines which seek to make up for  deficiencies in the enforcement of trade mark rights. Orders of this nature are based on the analogy and close relationship between copyright and trade mark rights, taking into consideration the legal void resulting from the non-applicability in Venezuela of Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Industrial Property Regime and the reluctance of Venezuela's National Assembly to pass a new IP law.

Source: "Court confirms protection of IP rights despite deficient legal framework", by Ricardo Alberto Antequera H (Estudio Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez, Venezuela), World Trademark Review, 2 September 2011

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