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Tullens ingripanden mot förfalskade varor - EU-rätten om varumärkesförfalskningar under transit

Svenburg, Ebba LU (2016) JURM02 20162
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Oerhörda mängder varor kommer till EU:s gränskontroller varje dag. Kontrollerna bör hanteras snabbt och effektivt för att attrahera handel med vår union – och samtidigt hålla goda standarder vad gäller kontrollen av säkerheten och lagligheten av de produkter som förs in i EU. Problem kan uppstå då misstankar väcks om att varor under transit - trots angivelse om slutlig destination utanför EU – kommer att spridas inom unionens gränser. En varumärkesinnehavare vill givetvis förhindra att varor som är förfalskningar av ens egen varumärkesskyddade produkt frigörs på den inre marknaden där de okontrollerat kan spridas inom unionens gränser.

EU-domstolen har tagit ställning till problematiken i ett antal förhandsavgöranden. Praxisen har dock... (More)
Oerhörda mängder varor kommer till EU:s gränskontroller varje dag. Kontrollerna bör hanteras snabbt och effektivt för att attrahera handel med vår union – och samtidigt hålla goda standarder vad gäller kontrollen av säkerheten och lagligheten av de produkter som förs in i EU. Problem kan uppstå då misstankar väcks om att varor under transit - trots angivelse om slutlig destination utanför EU – kommer att spridas inom unionens gränser. En varumärkesinnehavare vill givetvis förhindra att varor som är förfalskningar av ens egen varumärkesskyddade produkt frigörs på den inre marknaden där de okontrollerat kan spridas inom unionens gränser.

EU-domstolen har tagit ställning till problematiken i ett antal förhandsavgöranden. Praxisen har dock varit motstridig och det senaste avgörandet, Nokia/Philips-målen, var en stor besvikelse för rättighetsinnehavare. Domstolen slog nämligen fast att så länge rättighetsinnehavaren inte bevisar att de misstänkt förfalskade varorna i transit kommer att spridas på den inre marknaden finns det ingen möjlighet för tullmyndigheterna att ingripa mot dessa varor.

Inför revideringen av varumärkesförordningen hade EU:s institutioner tagit till sig den kritik som uppstått till följd av EU-domstolens meddelade domar. Resultatet blev artikel 9(4) i den nya varumärkesförordningen, vilket innebär ett stort avsteg från tidigare praxis.

Efter artikel 9(4):s införande behöver transitvarorna inte vara avsedda för omsättning på unionens marknad för att tullen ska kunna ingripa mot dem. Rättighetsinnehavarens rätt har utvidgats på så sätt att denne kan ingripa mot identiska eller väsentligen identiska varor med dess varumärkesskyddade vara, endast baserat på att varorna befinner sig i unionens tullområde då de fraktas under transit. Emellertid finns det en möjlighet för den anklagade varuinnehavaren att försvara sin rätt till fortsatt transit genom att styrka att varornas frisläppande inte kan förbjudas av rättighetsinnehavaren i slutdestinationens jurisdiktion. Den bevisbörda som ålades rättighetsinnehavaren i Nokia/Philips-avgörandet har nu ålagts den ansvarige för varorna.

Två motstående intressen konkurrerar på detta problemområde: intresset att skydda varumärkets grundläggande funktioner och rättighetsinnehavares innovativa och kreativa skapande kontra intresset av att främja den fria handeln och EU:s roll som internationellt handelscentrum. Uppsatsens slutsats är att möjligheterna för en varumärkesinnehavare att ingripa mot förfalskade varor under transit har förbättrats avsevärt, främst på grund av att bevisbördan har lyfts från rättighetsinnehavaren och ålagts varuinnehavaren. Trots att den nya bestämmelsen ger upphov till en rad frågetecken, är min förhoppning och tro att artikel 9(4) kommer att bidra till ett nytt effektivt medel i kampen mot förfalskningsindustrin. (Less)
Abstract
An incredible amount of goods arrive at the EU border controls everyday. The controls have to be performed quickly and efficiently in order to attract trade with our union – at the same time maintain good standards safeguarding the security and legality of products that cross the EU border.

Problems can occur when supsicion arises that goods in transit – despite information about a final destination outside the EU – will be released for free circulation within the union borders. A trademark holder would naturally want to prevent goods, which are counterfeits of their own trademark protected products, to be released on the internal market where they can be uncontrollably distributed within the borders of the union.

The ECJ has... (More)
An incredible amount of goods arrive at the EU border controls everyday. The controls have to be performed quickly and efficiently in order to attract trade with our union – at the same time maintain good standards safeguarding the security and legality of products that cross the EU border.

Problems can occur when supsicion arises that goods in transit – despite information about a final destination outside the EU – will be released for free circulation within the union borders. A trademark holder would naturally want to prevent goods, which are counterfeits of their own trademark protected products, to be released on the internal market where they can be uncontrollably distributed within the borders of the union.

The ECJ has taking a stand on the issue in a number of preliminary rulings. The case law has however been inconsistent and the last judgment, the Nokia/Philips case, was a great disappointment for proprietors. The Court held that as long as the proprietor does not prove that the goods in transit, which are being suspected to be counterfeits, will be placed on the internal market, there is no possibility for the customs to detain the goods.

Before the revision of the trademark regulation, the EU institutions heeded the criticism that had arose after the ECJ’s judgments. The result of this became article 9(4) in the new trademark regulation, which is a major deviation from earlier case law.

After the implementation of article 9(4), transit goods will no longer have to be intended for the internal market, for the customs to be able to detain them. Proprietors’ rights has been extended enabling them to take action against counterfeit goods, based on the mere fact that the goods are located within the custom union when they are under a transit procedure. However, there is a possibility for the accused holder of the goods to defend their right to transit by proving that the proprietor is not entitled to prohibit the placing of the goods on the market in the country of final destination. The burden of proof that was placed on the proprietor in the Nokia/Philips case, has now been reversed to be placed on the holder of the goods.

Two opposing interest can be identified in regards to this matter: the interest of protecting the overall function of trademarks and proprietors’ innovation and creativity versus the interest of promoting free trade and maintaining EU’s role as an international trade hub. The conclusion of the essay is that the possibilities for trademark holders to take action agains counterfeit goods under transit has been considerably improved, mainly because of the reversed burden of proof that is now placed on the holder of the goods. Although the new provision arises uncertainty, it is my hope and belief that article 9(4) will provide a new efficient weapon in the fight against the counterfeit industry. (Less)
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author
Svenburg, Ebba LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Customs action against counterfeit goods - The EU legislation on counterfeit goods in transit
course
JURM02 20162
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
immaterialrätt, varumärkesförfalskningar, varumärkesförordningen, EUTMR, förfalskade varor, transit, tullåtgärder
language
Swedish
id
8897645
date added to LUP
2017-01-27 11:09:20
date last changed
2017-01-27 11:09:20
@misc{8897645,
  abstract     = {An incredible amount of goods arrive at the EU border controls everyday. The controls have to be performed quickly and efficiently in order to attract trade with our union – at the same time maintain good standards safeguarding the security and legality of products that cross the EU border. 

Problems can occur when supsicion arises that goods in transit – despite information about a final destination outside the EU – will be released for free circulation within the union borders. A trademark holder would naturally want to prevent goods, which are counterfeits of their own trademark protected products, to be released on the internal market where they can be uncontrollably distributed within the borders of the union. 

The ECJ has taking a stand on the issue in a number of preliminary rulings. The case law has however been inconsistent and the last judgment, the Nokia/Philips case, was a great disappointment for proprietors. The Court held that as long as the proprietor does not prove that the goods in transit, which are being suspected to be counterfeits, will be placed on the internal market, there is no possibility for the customs to detain the goods. 

Before the revision of the trademark regulation, the EU institutions heeded the criticism that had arose after the ECJ’s judgments. The result of this became article 9(4) in the new trademark regulation, which is a major deviation from earlier case law. 

After the implementation of article 9(4), transit goods will no longer have to be intended for the internal market, for the customs to be able to detain them. Proprietors’ rights has been extended enabling them to take action against counterfeit goods, based on the mere fact that the goods are located within the custom union when they are under a transit procedure. However, there is a possibility for the accused holder of the goods to defend their right to transit by proving that the proprietor is not entitled to prohibit the placing of the goods on the market in the country of final destination. The burden of proof that was placed on the proprietor in the Nokia/Philips case, has now been reversed to be placed on the holder of the goods. 

Two opposing interest can be identified in regards to this matter: the interest of protecting the overall function of trademarks and proprietors’ innovation and creativity versus the interest of promoting free trade and maintaining EU’s role as an international trade hub. The conclusion of the essay is that the possibilities for trademark holders to take action agains counterfeit goods under transit has been considerably improved, mainly because of the reversed burden of proof that is now placed on the holder of the goods. Although the new provision arises uncertainty, it is my hope and belief that article 9(4) will provide a new efficient weapon in the fight against the counterfeit industry.},
  author       = {Svenburg, Ebba},
  keyword      = {immaterialrätt,varumärkesförfalskningar,varumärkesförordningen,EUTMR,förfalskade varor,transit,tullåtgärder},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Tullens ingripanden mot förfalskade varor - EU-rätten om varumärkesförfalskningar under transit},
  year         = {2016},
}