Infringing goods in transit: a scholar asks ...

The IPKat's Italian friend, lawyer and scholar Luca Giove writes to ask:
"Maybe you can help me. I am writing an article for an Italian review on the transit of infringing items (commenting Diesel/Montex and a similar Italian case).

Are you aware of any European jurisdiction in which the mere transit of infringing goods is prohibited under the applicable laws?"

Above right: The customs authorities searched the wagons and found nothing - but it never occurred to them that it was the oxen that were counterfeit ...

Can readers of this weblog assist? All information received will be made available on this weblog. The IPKat is certainly curious to know if there are any countries in which infringing goods can be legally intercepted and dealt with even if they have not entered the market. Merpel says, isn't there a competition law angle to this too? Something like "you're not allowed to interfere with the free movement of infringing goods, so long as people who want to buy them can't get the locks off the containers they're being transported in? Miaow!

Please email your helpful information to the IPKat here or post a comnment below.

Infringing goods in transit: a scholar asks ... Infringing goods in transit: a scholar asks ... Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, September 10, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. According to the caselaw of the High Court of Justice of the European Communities, the mere transit between two EU countries cannot be forbidden by IP national laws (in the present case design laws), because it would not be compatible with the EU treaty (case C-23/99).

    The text of the decision

    European patent caselaw

  2. Class International BV v Unilever NV , Case C-405/03 is an ECJ case that deals with this question of transit. The question was also dealt with by Fysh J in the Habanos case. In practice though if UK customs have seized the goods - and it happens - its not the easiest thing to get them back without paying a lot to lawyers so dont transit infringing goods.

  3. This may be of assistance: in Class International BV v Colgate-Palmolive Company, the ECJ ruled that trade mark owners cannot stop the transit of illegal parallel imported goods through the European Union


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