October 2, 2014
Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany

Dr. Leopold von Gerlach (Hogan Lovells International LLP)
Strategies for an Effective Cooperation with Customs in Europe, the Americas and Asia

Monitoring imports and the seizure of infringing products at the border are among the most effective tools against counterfeit trade. Yet the motivation and ability of customs officers vary significantly from country to country. Likewise, the legal requirements, the practical handling and the administrative hurdles are not the same in each country. In order to fully exploit the benefits of a good cooperation with customs, brand owners must be aware of these differences and adjust their action accordingly. They will need to bring their commercial interest in a given country or region in a good balance with the investment of time, money and legal resources in such country or region. Finding such balance is of particular relevance in times of tight legal budgets and a notion to only invest in such legal activities that carry the promise of a decent return.

This presentation about strategies for an effective cooperation with customs in Europe, the Americas and Asia wants to set out how brand owners may best align their anti-counterfeiting interest with the situation in each region and country. This leads to a strategy with clear priorities of what should be done in the different regions and countries around the globe. In this context, a closer look shall be taken at typical scenarios of counterfeit trade of pharmaceuticals, electronic and luxury goods. It will be shown that a specific mixture of customs activity, together with online and real world investigation is often the most efficient approach. On the basis of all this information, a typical example of a global anit-counterfeiting strategy will be discussed at the end of the presentation.