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There are a number of things to consider when seeking to register and protect your brands, says Lara Haidar from The Rights Lawyers.
October 22, 2009 2:29 by Lara Haidar
The first thing to look at is the extent of the infringement/counterfeiting activities. Based on the findings, various actions may be undertaken:
1. Cease and desist warning
Send the perpetrators a formal cease and desist letter claiming trade mark infringement and warning them of the consequences if they do not stop immediately.
2. Legal action
This involves filing a civil case before the courts. Such action tends to be protracted and quite costly and the legal fees often surpass the compensation that the courts normally grant. This action is also used where a trademark is not registered. As the GCC follows a first-to-file rule in granting protection to marks and, unless the trademark in question has a substantial international reputation, brand owners are often in a sticky situation where a third party has secured a registration for the brand owner’s trade mark before the brand owner.
3. Regulatory action
Working with and through the authorities including government bodies, customs and the police. Some examples of regulatory actions include:
a. Action before the economic department
This involves the relevant government authority attending the shops where the counterfeits are sold, seizing the goods and destroying them. This type of action is mostly relevant when it is essential to clear the counterfeits to ensure sales of the genuine products during their peak period.