Is Custom Recordal of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) available in Armenia?
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs compulsory in Armenia?
Is it an effective measure to stop the infiltration of illegal and counterfeit products in Armenia?
Which law forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures) in Armenia?
The Customs Code of the Republic of Armenia forms the legal basis for Custom Recordal of IPRs (Border Control Measures).
Is Custom Recordal of IPRs effective on import or export of goods or both?
Custom Recordal of IPRs is effective both on the import and export of goods.
What is the role of the customs department/authority? (Kindly give 2-3 points)
The role of the Customs department is to identify and dispose-off goods as per the procedure defined by law.
Is there a procedure to record IP with the customs department/authority? If yes, then kindly explain it in brief.
Anyone who has valid grounds to suspect that through the Customs border of the Republic of Armenia can be transported goods that may infringe IPRs may submit an application (hereinafter suspension request) to the Ministry of State Revenue of the Republic of Armenia. There are two kinds of applications: General and Specific character applications. It is required that the IPR should be registered in the register of IP object maintained by the Ministry of State Revenue. The Ministry of State Revenue, having discussed within the 05 days the request on suspension, shall inform (Customs Bodies in the case of necessity) in written form within 02 working days about the decision made. The Ministry of State Revenue shall define the period when the Customs Bodies should make relevant arrangements if a decision has been made to satisfy the request. The ministry, according to the applicant's substantial request, may extend that period. Any rejection to satisfy the request shall be substantiated and can be appealed in legal form.
What documents are to be submitted along with the application for Custom Recordal of IPRs?
The declarant can make the request of recordal by submitting a suspension request which shall include:
The details of the registered trademark (name, number or registration, classes of goods/services, registration number, and date, expiration date, the name and address of the owner);
A copy of the trademark registration certificate, or an extract from the official state register of the Armenian Intellectual Property Agency, or a certificate provided by the Armenian Intellectual Property Agency confirming registration of the trademark through a local or international procedure;
The description on the manner of the trademark usage on goods/services (with images);
The requested duration for the Customs Service assistance (maximum two years, or until the expiration of the trademark registration, whichever is the earliest);
The original Power of Attorney granted to the local representative/legal counsel (notarised and legalised, together with the notarised Armenian translation) who will be notified about all seizures/detentions;
Information about the local representative/legal counsel (name, address, contact information of the local legal counsel), as well as information (name, address, contact information) about rights holder's official distributors, if available, to avoid detention of distributor's imports; and
Evidence of infringement of the trademark in Armenia, or a potential risk thereof.
Is the applicant required to execute a bond (against all liabilities and to bear the costs towards destruction, demurrage, and detention charges incurred till the time of destruction or disposal) with the customs department/authority for Custom Recordal of IPRs?
What is the time frame for the customs department/authority to notify the applicants whether their application (for custom recordal of IPRs) is registered or rejected?
Does the customs department/authority have a centralized system or the Custom Recordal is required to be done with each port of entry in Armenia by land, sea, and air?
Is there an online system for Custom Recordal in Armenia?
What is the official fee for Custom Recordal in Armenia?
20,000 Armenian drams (equivalent to approximately $40) is the official fee for each trademark; Also, a bank guarantee has to be paid which is equivalent to 5% of the customs value of the imported goods.
What is the term of Custom Recordal of IPRs? Can it be further renewed?
Maximum 02 years, or until the expiration of the trademark registration, whichever is the earliest.
Does the customs department/authority have a right to conduct raids and seize the counterfeit goods within Armenia?
In which scenario does the customs department/authority suspend the clearance of imported goods?
If the Customs body reveals that the goods in question infringe the proprietor's rights, such goods shall be subject to transportation to the warehouse of temporary preservation. The decision on suspension of the release of goods shall be made by the Head of the Customs body or the Deputy within 10 days, with an opportunity to extend this period by no more than 20 days, according to the case stipulated in paragraph a) of Article 236 of this Code.
Who bears the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods?
The applicant bears the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods.
Is the IP rights holder authorized to examine the goods, the clearance of which has been suspended?
Is the IP rights holder authorized to request the information about the personal details of the importer and additional crucial piece of information concerning the consignment, which has been suspended from clearance?
Can the importer or the authorized representative of the goods, which have been suspended from clearance, request the information of the IP rights holder in question?
Within what timeframe the IP rights holder needs to confirm whether the goods are counterfeit or original after suspension?
The rights holder has 10 to 20 days to take additional legal actions to keep the goods detained. Before the termination of the same, the applicant has to convey the authenticity of the goods.
Is the IP rights holder required to produce an injunction order or evidence of court proceedings to detain the goods?
Yes (It depends on the order of the court).
If the answer to the above question is 'Yes,' then what is the deadline to do so?
The goods may either be released or detained until the end of litigation, depending on whether the courts manage to order the Customs Office to keep the goods detained before the expiration of the 20th date of the Customs decision on seizure.
Does the IP rights holder need to pay an additional bond for the detention of goods?
If the answer to the above question is 'Yes,' then to what extent and how is the valuation calculated?
Within the first 03 days, the rights holder should provide the Customs Office with a bank guarantee or a guarantee payment equivalent to 5% of the Customs value of the imported goods.
In the scenario where the goods detained or seized are found to be infringing the IPRs of the IP rights holder in question, what steps does the customs department/authority take?
The infringing goods are transported to a warehouse of temporary preservation. Thereafter, on finding that they are pirated, the goods may be disposed off as per law or as per agreement with the proprietor.
Does the customs authority invite the rights holder and importer to join the proceedings? Are there any consequences of failure to join such proceeding, if any?
The applicant has the option of initiating a civil proceeding.
Before disposal/destruction of infringing goods, does the rights holder need to submit a ‘no objection’ or concurrence document?
Are there any disadvantages of Custom Recordal of IPRs in Armenia? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
If an IP rights holder is not satisfied with the action taken by the customs department/authority, can he/she initiate separate legal proceedings to enforce his/her IP rights?
An appeal can be made to superior customs authority.
To establish if the goods are counterfeit before the court of justice, will the affidavit by the IP rights holder suffice or any other documentary requirement is there?
Upon conclusion of proceedings before the Court of Justice, what are the possible remedies awarded by the court?
Is the rights holder under an obligation to inform customs authority when his Intellectual Property Right ceases to be valid/ he ceases to be the owner of such IPR?