Most counterfeit goods are produced abroad and CBSA has established a process where intellectual property rights (IPR) owners or holders can ask CBSA to detain suspected counterfeit goods encountered at the border while the IPR holds and/or owners seek legal redress.
What Are Intellectual Property Rights?
Intellectual Property Rights allow people to protect their ideas for a certain period of time. They allow for people and businesses to have a competitive advantage over their competition by providing them with an incentive to create new ideas and to benefit from those ideas.
This becomes very important in the world of business and especially international trade. Below is an explanation on what you can do to protect your Intellectual Property Rights on an international stage.
How To Apply For A Request For Assistance
If you are a Canadian trademark or geographical indication rights holder or owner and you are registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) you are eligible to file a Request for Assistance.
These RFAs assist CBSA to identify and detain suspected shipments containing counterfeit trademark goods. If suspect or counterfeit goods are found within a commercial shipment CBSA will use the information in the RFA application to contact the appropriate IPR holder and inform them of the details they need to pursue a civil court action.
How The Request For Assistance Works
- Ensure that your IPR is registered with CIPO and your information is up to date. To file click here.
- Complete your RFA and submit it to CBSA for processing
- Wait for confirmation of enrolment and approval letter outlining program specific details
- Once approved, if suspected or counterfeit goods are intercepted by the CBSA, you will be notified and given the opportunity to take appropriate action.
- The RCMP will be responsible for leading any criminal investigations related to commercial scale counterfeiting and piracy.