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Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007 An Overview

Based on model legislation drafted by Geneva based World Customs Organization, the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue has notified the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007 vide Notification No.- 47/2007 on 8thMay 2007. Such notification was a requisitein Indiato add strength to existing Customs provisionsand for better IPR protection on borders. The Rules applies from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette to imported goods.

Highlights of the Rules

  • Right holder may give a written notice in the prescribed format to the Customs Commissioner requesting him to suspend the clearance of goods infringing his IP rights.
  • Fees of Rs 2000/- is to be paid with the notice.
  • Within 30 days the Commissioner of Custom is to inform the right holder whether his notice is registered or rejected.
  • After registration the Customs Department for certain validity period has to render its services to the right holder. The minimum validity period of assistance is 1 year.
  • The right holder has to execute a bond with surety and security with the Commissioner undertaking the liability of protection of the importer, consignee and the owner of the goods and also for bearing the costs towards destruction, demurrage and detention charges.
  • Upon registration and examination, the import of goods alleged to be infringing the IP rights of the right holder would be considered to be prohibited under Customs Act, 1962.
  • Deputy/Assistant Commissioner based on notice of the right holder or on his own initiative is authorized to suspend the clearance of goods infringing IP rights provided he has reasonable grounds to do so.
  • Detention of such impounded goods would not be beyond a total period of 20 days (in two phases of 10 days each).
  • Period of suspension of release of perishable goods is 3 days.
  • Deputy/Assistant Commissioner has the power to seize the goods infringing IP rights that are liable to confiscation under section 111(d) of the Customs Act.
  • The Customs Department upon request of the right holder or the importer has to provide information as regards the name and address to them of the importer or the right holder respectively.
  • Goods infringing IP rights that are detained, seized and confiscated are destroyed or disposed by the Customs Department after obtaining no objection certificate by the right holder.
  • Custom offices acting in good faith in failure to detect goods infringing intellectual property rights or in advertently releasing such goods are not liable.
  • Rules does not apply to non-commercial goods contained in personal baggage or to goods sent in small consignments intended to personal use of the importer.

The Ministry further notified on the same day under Notification no.- 49/2007 the prohibition on the import of the following goods:

  • Goods applying false trade mark or false trade description as specified under Trade Marks Act, 1999;
  • Goods made/produced outside India intended for sale applying the design in which copyright exists under Designs Act, 2000;
  • Product made or produced or obtained directly by the process outside India intended for sale for which patent is in force in India under Patents Act, 1970;
  • Goods applying false geographical indication within the meaning ofGeographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999; and
  • Goods prohibited to be imported by Registrars order under Copyright Act, 1957.Thus the new statutory legal provisions are in the direction of regulating the import of genuine goods and products in India and would prove to curb the menace of piracy on borders.


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Category Intellectual Property Rights, Other Articles by - Suwarn Rajan