Generally accepted term in which the largest group of intellectual property rights is named since the end of 19th century including rights on industrial property objects (inventions, applied models, samples of design, trademarks, service brands, company names, signs of origin (or geographical origin signs) and other similar objects, including the rights to protection against unfair competition). In practice often and incorrectly industrial property is opposed to intellectual property (definition from ‘Protection of industrial property, terminology’ author G.Poļakovs, Riga, 1999).
Generally accepted term by which in the second half of this century the total of copyrights, neighbouring rights and industrial property rights were denominated. More precisely - the rights for intellectual labour results are understood by the term ‘Intellectual Property’ including literary, art and scientific works, performances of artists, phonograms, broadcastings, inventions, sample designs, product and service trademarks, commercial names and commercial signs, rights for protection against unfair competition as well as any other similar rights in the area of science, literature and art (definition from ‘Protection of industrial property, terminology’, author G.Poļakovs, Riga, 1999).
At the outset of civilization the results of intellectual labour were neither registered, nor protected in any way, but in the course of time through society evolving and gaining an understanding of the meaning of intellectual property and its role in the economy of the state a system developed that ensures the protection of intellectual labour.
When as a result of intellectual labour the end product is created the author shall be entitled to a remuneration on use of his work and in the case of this work being used without the permission of the author (owner of rights) this use shall be qualified as theft to which appropriate sanctions are applied.
Although pursuant to the majority of jurisdictions the improper use of intellectual property is punishable these rights are still violated annually bringing huge losses to owners of these rights and also to the economies of these countries.
Usually this type of illegal activities is undertaken by criminal organisations and violation of intellectual property rights allows them to gain more and more profit similarly to that of trading in narcotics and arms, the only difference being that the sanctions for violation of intellectual property rights is comparatively small and also the risk is lower.
If property right owners in order to create something new have to make large investment, carry out research, bear the risk that there will not be high demand for the goods, advertise and assume liability for the quality, the ‘pirate’ just has to copy something that has already been invented by someone else, besides, the copy is of low quality. The fact that items of fake goods are sold for a lot cheaper determines why such goods are purchased. Pirates are only interested in quick profit for gaining of which there is a comparatively low risk.
Statistics on action by customs within the EU relating to the fight against counterfeit and piracy
One of the conditions for Latvia to join the World Trade Organisation was to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights in the Republic of Latvia.
In September 1, 1999, within the framework of the Department for Prevention of Violation of Customs Regulations of the National Customs Board (NCB) of the State Revenue Service (SRS) the Intellectual Property Protection Division was established. In all SRS territorial customs institutions officials were appointed with the main task to coordinate the activities undertaken by customs authorities in the region for the fight against fake and pirated goods.
After accession of the Republic of Latvia to the European Union the issue on activities by customs authorities in the area of protection of intellectual property rights has become especially important. It has been observed that the activity level of owners of rights has rapidly increased and there are more and more applications received at the SRS NCB from owners of rights wishing their intellectual property rights to be protected. On September 30, 2004, there was a memorandum of cooperation signed between the SRS NCB and Coalition for Intellectual Property Rights, and SNB-REACT within the framework of which information exchange is carried out at regular intervals, training of customs officers on possibilities for identification of fake goods was performed, customs authorities had received for use without charge photo appliances as well as the access rights to SNB-REACT electronic data base.
Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 of 22 July 2003 concerning customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain intellectual property rights and the measures to be taken against goods found to have infringed such rights;
Commission Regulation (EC) No 1891/2004 of 21 October 2004 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 concerning customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain intellectual property rights and the measures to be taken against goods found to have infringed such rights.
For protection of intellectual property rights you can fill out and submit to the customs authority the following forms:
Submission of important and urgent information
To improve the cooperation of the customs authorities and right-holders in protecting rights of intellectual property, the Commission has developed two new forms - Red Alert and New Trends. The following forms were developed in order to ensure the possibility of sending precise and structured information to the customs authorities. If the right-holders have any urgent information on shipments of counterfeit goods or information regarding new trends in the movement of counterfeit goods, the enclosed forms shall be completed and submitted to the national customs contact points of the particular EU Member State.
Red Alert - form to be used to notify customs authorities with an urgent, specific information.
New Trends - form to be used to provide customs authorities with information about new trends.