Do not cross the border: increasing seizures of counterfeit goods
On 19 March 2010 the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, reaffirmed Australian Customs and Border Protection’s commitment to working together with intellectual property rights holders to combat counterfeiting under the Notice of Objection Scheme established under the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) and the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).
A registered trade mark owner (or the authorised user of a mark) or an owner of copyright material (or its exclusive licensee) may lodge a Notice of Objection with Customs providing details of Australian registered trade marks or copyright material. A Notice of Objection gives Customs the power to temporarily seize goods, pending legal action, that are suspected of infringing the rights of a trade mark or copyright owner, before the goods hit the Australian marketplace. The Minister stated that an improved understanding of the Scheme has resulted in a greater number of intellectual property owners lodging Notices of Objection, which has facilitated a significant increase in the number of seizures of fake imported goods at the Australian border. Customs reportedly seized 1.1 million counterfeit items in 2009, more than double the 547,000 items seized in 2008.
The press release may be viewed at: http://www.customs.gov.au/site/100319ministerialmediarelease.asp