How Canadian companies can avoid being ripped off

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Taking effect earlier this year, new sections of the federal Combating Counterfeit Products Act have been put into place to help protect Canadian companies from various criminal acts. And while it’s important to learn how to keep your business safe, are there some holes in this new system?

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Have you ever sported a knock off purse or wallet or watched a pirated movie? If so, did you consider how your illegal activity hurt the manufactures or exporters of the product? Due to the new act mentioned above, Canadian firms are now able to protect themselves at the border—sort of, anyway.

Originally reported by the Globe and Mail, anyone who suspects that a person is importing fake goods into the country can fill out a “Request for Assistance” to the Canada Border Services Agency for free. Then, the CBSA will hold the products, allowing the Canadian company to have adequate time to begin legal proceedings.

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 “It’s a step forward for the protection of the public, not just trademark owners,” said Steven Raber, a trademark litigator and partner at Fillmore Riley LLP in Winnipeg.

However, as mentioned earlier, there are a few hiccups with this new act. For example, if the products really do turn out to be counterfeit, then whoever filled out the original request form becomes the new owner of the products—taking with them all costs associated with the storage, handling and destruction of the detained products.

Therefore, getting rid of trademark or copyright infringement, while important, can also be very time consuming and expensive. As well, these products can include a long list of items, such as sophisticated electronics, key automotives and aircraft components.

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Despite issues with the Combating Counterfeit Products Act, Canadian companies are still encouraged to utilize it to their needs. After all, it can help. Furthermore, in order to gain protection from being ripped off, businesses should take precautions before going to market and pay particular attention to trademark laws. Filing and submitting the proper paperwork for trademarks and patents is vital. AS well, companies need to ensure that they’re not infringing on someone else’s product or trademark.

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[SOURCE: The Globe and Mail

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