Combating Counterfeit Products (Intellectual Property Rights)
About the program
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) supports the fight against counterfeit and pirated goods entering or leaving Canada.
The Agency has established a process that allows intellectual property rights (IPR) rights holders/owners to file a request asking for the CBSA to temporarily detain suspected counterfeit and/or pirated goods encountered at the border while rights holders/owners seek legal redress.
As a Canadian trademark or geographical indication rights holder/owner registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), you are eligible to file a Request for Assistance (RFA) application with the CBSA. RFAs will help the CBSA to effectively identify and detain commercial shipments suspected of containing counterfeit trademark goods.
As a rights holder/owner of a valid Canadian copyright, you are eligible to file an RFA application with the CBSA. RFAs will help the CBSA to effectively identify and detain commercial shipments suspected of containing pirated copyright goods.
If suspect counterfeit and/or pirated goods are discovered during a commercial examination, the CBSA can use the information contained in the RFA application to contact the appropriate rights holders/owners and inform them of the details they need to allow them to pursue a civil court action.
How the program works
- Step 1: Ensure that your trademark or geographical indication is registered with CIPO and your information is up to date. CIPO registration of copyright is not mandatory, but is recommended.
- Step 2: Complete the RFA form and submit it to the CBSA for processing.
- Step 3: Wait for confirmation of enrollment and approval letter outlining program specific details.
- Step 4: Once approved, if suspected counterfeit and/or pirated goods are intercepted by the CBSA, you will be notified and given the opportunity to take appropriate action.
- Step 5: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be responsible for leading any criminal investigations related to commercial scale counterfeiting and piracy.
Note: By filing a RFA you acknowledge that you become liable to the government for any costs related to storage, handling and destruction of detained goods that arise, beginning the day after a notice of detention is sent to you. You can often minimize these costs by responding promptly to CBSA and advising:
- (1) the goods are not counterfeit or pirated, or
- (2) you choose not to launch an action for this shipment.
If you have any questions about the RFA application process, send your enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information (Intel) about a Suspected Counterfeit or Pirated Goods Shipment Provided by Rights Holders/Owners to the CBSA
If a rights holder/owner would like to provide the CBSA with information about a dangerous goods shipment that they suspect is counterfeit and/or pirated, they can contact the Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060 within the United States and Canada.
- To learn more about intellectual property rights, including copyright, trademark, geographical indications and patent registration visit the CIPO website.
- Bill C-8, Combating Counterfeit Products Act
- Bill C-30, Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act
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