Measures for the protection of intellectual property rights are applicable to the goods that may violate intellectual property rights and:
a) are imported into the customs territory of the Republic of Moldova or exported from this territory;
b) are declared to the customs authorities in order to be placed under a final or preferential customs regime;
c) are under customs supervision in any other situation;
d) were not declared upon entry or when leaving the country and were discovered by customs authorities at the customs control;
e) became the property of the state as a result of forfeiture or abandonment in favor of the state.
Note: goods transported through the customs border of the Republic of Moldova by individuals and are intended for personal use are not subject to national legislation on intellectual property protection.
The current mechanism for the implementation of the intellectual property rights protection at the border consists of the following stages:
• Initiation of the protection procedure on the basis of the intervention request submitted to the Customs Service by the rights holder and the examination of this request by the customs authority.
• Acceptance of the intervention request and the determination of the intervention period. On the basis of the accepted intervention request the Customs Service administers the “Register of intellectual property objects”.
• Implementation of protection measures through seizure of goods that may infringe the intellectual property rights and/or through ban on clearance of suspected goods with the notification of the rights holder and the goods declarant/receiver in view of initiating a lawsuit in court. These measures can be also applied at the initiative of the customs body (the ex officio procedure) when there are sufficient grounds to consider these measures necessary to protect the intellectual property rights. In case the rights holder does not file a lawsuit in the stated time period, the customs body shall cancel the confiscation and/or release the goods into free circulation, under the condition of observing all the other legal provisions.
• Implementation of protection measures for goods suspected of an intellectual property right infringement (destruction, withdrawal from trade circulation, free of charge goods hand over to some public institutions, as foreseen by law).
The above is intended to provide a brief guide only. It is essential that appropriate professional advice is obtained. Our office will be glad to assist you in this respect. Please do not hesitate to contact us.