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Fake NIKE Destroyed in Serbia

Feb 5 2007 - 16:13

The first ever destruction of counterfeit goods in Serbia by the Customs Authorities took place on December 29, 2006. See photos.

Since 2005, the Serbian Customs have been successfully and diligently making seizures under the provisions for the enforcement of intellectual property rights contained in the Customs Law. However, not one actual instance of destruction had ever taken place. Counterfeit goods continued to accumulate in Customs warehouses.

According to the Customs Authorities, one of the major obstacles to destruction was the lack of suitable facilities in Serbia for destroying plastics, rubbers and other similar materials in an environmentally friendly way. In a bit of good timing, the proper facilities were found just a month before the general elections in Serbia. 13,000 pairs of counterfeit running shoes, bearing the trademarks of NIKE and DEISEL, were destroyed in one day at the State waste facilities. Instead of burning the running shoes, as was done in other countries, the shoes were cut into small pieces by a large machine used for destroying tires. The method had the approval of the Serbian Ministry of Environment, as is required under the law.

No destruction has taken place since December 29, 2006. It has been indicated that the machine used for destruction cannot work in cold weather. It is hoped that the warm weather, expected to return to Serbia in a few months time, will bring some more spring-cleaning to the Customs warehouses in Serbia.

Meanwhile, the Internal Market Inspectorate has been making use of its new powers for seizure under the Law on Special Powers for the Purpose of Efficient Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, which became law in Serbia last year. The law allows trademark holders to file “Watch Notices” with the Internal Market Inspectorate and provides for procedures similar to the Customs Laws. Several successful seizures have been made in the internal market and we continue to encourage our clients to consider this effective new tool for enforcing IP rights in Serbia.

For more information, please contact Kathryn Szymczyk or Mihajlo Zatezalo.

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