Inspectorate Reports on Circulation Of Counterfeit Goods in Croatia
By Anamarija Stančić Petrovic, SD PETOSEVIC Croatia-Zagreb, Published in World Intellectual Property Report BNA ISSN 0952-7613, April 2005
According to a report by the Croatian State Inspectorate for 2004, the Croatian market is not more exposed to counterfeit goods than other transition country markets or, for that matter, markets of more developed European Union countries or the U.S. market. The Report was issued in October 2004.
Croatian IP laws, as well as the Law on Customs, are now fully harmonized with EU legislation. Therefore, the Croatian State, through regulations and various bodies of executive power (inspectorate, customs, police), is trying to bring counterfeiting to a minimum and sanction the infringer’s in an appropriate manner.
Inspections of goods are continuously carried out on the Croatian market in order to protect consumers and trademark owners from counterfeit products. The State Inspectorate instigates the inspection of goods, while the suppression of selling counterfeits is in the competence of Croatian Customs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Control over trademark infringement is regulated by the Trademark Law (Official Gazette No. 173/03). The Law is applied to individual, collective, and certification marks that are pending and/or registered at the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office as well as to International Trademark Registrations that are valid in Croatia, according to the Madrid Agreement and Protocol. In the case of an infringement, in accordance with the pro-visions of the Trademark Law, infringer’s are subject to a fine, while counterfeit goods can be seized and destroyed.
The most frequent form of trademark infringement is the circulation of garments, footwear, and leather goods, which are imported or locally made counterfeit products (fakes). Almost all known brands are counterfeited: ADIDAS, BIG STAR, CALVIN KLEIN, DIESEL, FENDI, FILA, FISHBONE, GAS, GUCCI, HUGO BOSS, LEVI STRAUSS, LEVI’S, LOTTO, LOUIS VUITTON, NAUTICA, NAVIGARE, NIKE, PUMA, PAUL & SHARK, SPEEDO, SERGO TACHINI, TOMMY HILFIGER, and UNGARO. Such products often originate from Turkey, Italy, China, and Thailand.
As reported by the State Inspectorate, in 2004 inspectors carried out a total of 1,869 checks on the sale of textile goods, footwear, and headgear that use registered trademarks without the permission of the trademark owners. About 1 million Euros worth of goods were seized, and infringer’s were sanctioned accordingly.
Control over the distribution and reproduction of music and cinematographic works recorded on media (CD, audio, and video tapes), as well as computer software, is regulated by the provisions of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (Official Gazette No. 167/03). In respect of illegally recorded works of music and cinematography, in 2004 some 360 CDs, 41 audio-cassettes, and 227 videos were seized from various subjects.
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