What is the import (export) injunction system?
Among intellectual property, those who have patent rights, utility model rights, industrial titles, trademark rights, copyrights, neighboring rights and breeders' rights, or those who claim unfair competition injunction, may find that goods infringing their own rights are about to be imported (or exported). This is a system that appeals to the customs collector to suspend the import (export) of the cargo and to take the recognition procedure.
What is the recognition procedure?
Item that is considered to be intellectual property infringing is called an "infringement suspected item". The procedure for recognizing whether or not the suspected infringing goods are infringing goods is the "recognition procedure".
In a global business society, the distribution of counterfeit and similar products can be extremely damaging to a company. It is the injunction at customs, that is, the border controls, that suppresses such unfair distribution. According to a report by the Ministry of Finance, the number of import injunctions for intellectual property infringing goods in 2019 was about 2,400 cases, and the number of injunctions exceeded one million. Among them, the injunction against imports from China is over 80%, which is a high level.
Goods that can be injunctive at customs are those that infringe patent rights, design rights, trademark rights, copyrights (and related rights), and breeder's rights, and goods designated by the right to demand an injunction against unfair competition. Therefore, in order to take advantage of border measures, it is a prerequisite that your product is strongly guarded by strong intellectual property rights.
Also, the most important thing when filing an injunction is proof of the fact of infringement. Insufficient proof is likely to be rejected by customs, and there is also the risk of being counter-sueed by the importer (exporter) for obstruction of business. Therefore, proof of infringement should be done very carefully.
In supporting this border measure, we will objectively face the facts from a customs perspective and confirm infringement from a neutral perspective. When the fact of infringement is confirmed, we will carefully and speedily prepare proof materials and support the application to customs. In addition, when creating materials, we will provide appropriate advice regarding the addition and reinforcement of information that seems to be incomplete or insufficient, and we will do our utmost to cooperate with our clients to realize an early injunction.
We have prepared the following four service menus as customs injunction support services.
Please feel free to contact us when imitations or similar products are imported from overseas or exported overseas, causing obstacles to your business, or when they are likely to be transported. Experts will ask you about the current situation and advise you on what to do next. For example:
If you feel that imitations or similar products are flowing overseas, or conversely flowing into Japan from overseas, and or you feel that your business is being hindered, you need to take some action immediately.
We will look at the situation and tell you the best possible countermeasures in an easy-to-understand manner.
■Service for Creating Evidence Materials for Customs Submission
What is required of customs submissions is "credibility" and "certainty." For that purpose, it is important to explain the correct facts in an easy-to-understand manner. The format of the import (export) injunction to be submitted to customs should be correct and easy to understand, and the important thing is the attached documents to prove the fact of infringement.
Court decisions and provisional disposition decision notices can be credible evidence in proving the fact of infringement, but the court procedure is time consuming. In the meantime, infringing goods will continue to spread around the world. In addition, items that have been transported overseas or brought in from overseas before entering the court procedure cannot be seized. In such a case, it is one of the effective means to attach the infringement appraisal report prepared by an attorney at law or a patent attorney. We will respond in a timely and accurate manner to the preparation of such a appraisal report so as not to miss the timing.
In addition, we will support you to prepare additional materials and supplementary materials and submit them promptly without delay for new information discovered after the injunction.
■Injunction Application Support Service
There are nine customs offices nationwide where we can file an injunction. This service is a service that acts as a contact point for customs on behalf of the client.
We will thoroughly check whether the application form is complete or incomplete, help it to be accepted smoothly, and respond to inquiries and questions from customs as much as possible so that the client is not burdened as much as possible. We will take appropriate measures by paying attention to.
In addition, if required, we can also act as an agent or attendant at the time of inquiries from import (export) companies and negotiations.
We aim to resolve the matters as soon as possible and will continue to provide the best service to our clients.
■Post-event Support Service
If the customs office finds that the item is infringing, it will confiscate the imported (exported) item and dispose of it. Therefore, it can be said that this border control is a very effective means to stop the spread of damage. However, they will not compensate for the damage or damage that you have suffered by importing or exporting infringing goods.
Then, what should we do to get the business back on track and further develop it, such as compensation for damages suffered by clients and credit recovery?
We not only eliminate infringement, but also consider future measures necessary for business restoration and development together with our customers, and propose the best countermeasures by utilizing the experience and know-how we have cultivated so far. If necessary, we will consider all legal measures, such as claims for damages against infringers and requests for credit recovery and rehabilitation, and will support you in good faith until they are implemented.
This is the spirit of our " Omotenashi (hospitality in Japanese) service", which not only resolves the case itself but also provides comprehensive support for aftercare.