Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bringing down the baddies!

A month ago the special brigade that investigates intellectual property crimes in Chile was made aware of some ‘Solingen’ ™ products which were actually counterfeits. The complaint (a criminal action) was filed by Silva & Cia, the Solingen brand representative in Chile.

Last week it was announced that the special brigade managed to seize 4,656 pirated products. Moreover, marcasur informs that it was possible to catch one of the the leading importers and distributors of counterfeit goods in this country.

Certainly this is good news for IP owners.

Looking further than a mere trade mark:
In Germany, the mark ‘Solingen’ has been protected by law since 1938. What is more, it is protected under a specific law called the "Decree for the Protection of the Name Solingen" (Solingen Decree) and so, products bearing this mark need to meet rigid conditions. This is so, because the name ‘Solingen’ is a geographical name (however bear in mind that EU Regulations regarding Geographical Indication are non-applicable in this case because the products are not agricultural and/or foodstuff).

That said, being the name of a geographical origin we may think of unfair competition legislation and trade mark regulations. Indeed, in a number of international agreements, countries provide for the protection of geographical names, for instance:
1.- the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883: Germany and Chile are Members; and
2.- the Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False and Deceptive Indications of Source on International protection of the name: Germany is a Member (Chile is not).
There is indeed concern with the protection of trade marks, but in this case I believe that Chile is not only protecting a brand and so its reputation but is defending a city. Well done!

More in ‘Solingen’ here.

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