Trade mark, patent and design counterfeits as well as copyright infringement is a growing issue to intellectual property (IP) rights holders. Counterfeit goods constantly infiltrate market places around the world, particularly Africa. Our anti-counterfeiting team works with a network of investigating firms and customs officials across Africa. We assist clients by identifying perpetrators through to enforcing anti-counterfeiting rights and handling the prosecution of counterfeiting matters against importers.
Our anti-counterfeiting services include:
- Working with investigating firms and customs officials across Africa to conduct surveillance exercises, identify counterfeiting activities, detain containers and enforce anti-counterfeiting rights
- Implementing effective anti-counterfeiting programmes including regular brand identification training for customs officials across Africa to help them identify and detain goods that are suspected counterfeits
- Preparing all formal documents such as summons, pleadings, heads of argument and affidavits
- When we cannot be physically present, particularly outside of South Africa, we select the best local counsel for the case. We work with local investigators and lawyers to give them a full, detailed brief
- Registering trade marks, patents, designs and copyright with Customs & Excise across Africa
Anti-counterfeiting measures in Africa
Effective protection is available in several African countries. Enforcing those provisions cannot be underestimated. To achieve the best results, considerable preparation is required. For a successful anti-counterfeiting programme, brand identification training is highly recommended otherwise it is difficult and at times impossible for customs and/or police to identify and detain possible counterfeit goods.
Many African countries have an acceptable standard of legal remedies and capacity, and effective action can be taken against counterfeits in: Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Customs watch notices or surveillance requests are effective and available in Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa, Sudan and Tunisia.
Although Ghana does not have legal provisions for customs watches, they are possible in practice. Conversely, Ethiopia has legal provisions for customs watches, which are not currently possible in practice.
contact us for a summary of actions that may be taken in each country.