Case Study 5 – (included in the 2016 update of the Guide ‘South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk Guide: Protecting your IP at Trade Fairs in South-East Asia’)
A Slovenian company in the automotive industry exhibiting at the Automotive Trade Fair in Vietnam is aware that a Chinese company which has been reported infringing its design in the past is also exhibiting at the same fair. The Slovenian company has checked the list of exhibitors before starting the exhibition and therefore had the time to be prepared should any infringement occur during the fair, including preparing the original certificate of its design registration in Vietnam and identifying a lawyer who could provide advice directly at the exhibition in case of need.
At the trade fair the Chinese competitor was displaying a model of scooter with an almost identical design to the one owned by the Slovenian company.
Actions taken: With the help of the staff, the Slovenian company has taken pictures of the infringing products as well as brochures and other marketing materials. The SME called in the lawyer to advice on how to collect sufficient evidence of the infringement and which actions to be taken next.
The Chinese company has received a notification letter during the trade fairs and was asked to remove the products infringing the design owned by the Slovenian company from the exhibition booth. Subsequently a Cease and Desist Letter was sent and the case proceeded to settlement.
• Prepare in advance knowing who will be participating at the same trade fair you will attend to identify if potential infringements may take place and prepare a copy of your IP certificates
• Register IP in the country of the exhibition and where you intend to trade in.
• Use the help and support of a local lawyer to obtain advice on how to collect valid evidences and the options available to you.
• Mediation and settlement can be sufficient to stop an infringement.