The IPKat has recently stumbled across an organisation called Audace. Billing itself as the "Pan-european association of farmers and distributors of plant health products and veterinary medicines working together against dysfunctional factors adversely affecting the market", it issued on 10 May a statement that reads as follows:
"PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS: PARALLEL IMPORTS AND PIRATINGOther than the fact that it functions in five official languages (English, French, German and - is this significant? - Russian and Arabic), the IPKat knows nothing of this organisation. Can any reader of this weblog please advise?
In all committees and working groups competent authorities and industry consider that parallel import (PI) is the exclusive cause of frauds in plant protection products (PPP).
It is time to react to such a sophism.
First of all it is not PI which are the cause of frauds but indeed the national, and more particularly French, competent authorities’ remissness relating to the lack of implementation of an adapted regulation framing the legitimate and duly motivated repackaging of imported products sought many times by AUDACE over the past 7 years.
Secondly frauds are not the privilege of parallel import marketing authorisations (MA) such as it was again very recently highlighted in the United Kingdom by a case involving a major manufacturer whose European subsidiaries are all members of national trade associations set up by the industry under a community umbrella organisation based in Brussels ECPA.
In the same way as it would not be acceptable to consider that all the holders of MA obtained through the elaborate procedure contravene the law, nor is it acceptable to link systematically PI to a risk of fraud.
So, the national competent authorities ought to be equally committed to controlling all the products put in the market and all the marketers without distinction of MA.
It’s the same of the industry’s intense lobbying of the European parliament aiming at discrediting importers in the context of the revision of directive 91/414/CE and the numerous communications revealing alleged figures of counterfeit or illegally traded products".
That Scottish case which the IPKat couldn't understand a word of (see post last week) - a kindly Scot from Maclay Murray Spens has come to his rescue with some words of explanation:
"... it is not really an IP case and has not been raised as an IP action. I can see how the confusion could have arisen, given that the case ultimately deals with the enforcement of a US Court judgment for patent infringement and a large damages award!Thanks, says the IPKat. Mystery solved. Merpel adds, adding extra defendants post-judgment sounds like fun. Presumably it saves time and effort and avoids those nasty irritants like defences ...
This was a purely preliminary decision on whether on the dependence/security of the Scottish action to enforce the US decision and award the US claimant (Systems Division) was entitled to arrest/freeze assets of the 2two Scottish companies who interestingly were added in to the US case after judgement had been given, on the basis that they had allegedly been set up to remove assets from the US and avoid the damages award. The two Scottish companies were challenging such allegations as well as complaining about the basis upon which the US court sought to add them in post-judgment.
The Scottish court was not looking at any aspect of IP law here but whether on the basis of Scots Law on what assets can be arrested/frozen on the dependence of the wider action, the arrestments could be maintained or not. Lady Smith did not consider that the arrestments were justified applying the relevant Scots law and so recalled the arrestments. The question of enforcing the US decision in Scotland could be more interesting and we will keep our eyes peeled for that".