Intellectual Property rights in Jordan are gaining greater protection guaranteed by local legislation. To ensure effective and sufficient protection of these rights, the Customs Department has been granted, according to specific regulations and procedures, the authority to relinquish customs clearance on commodities that constitute an infringement of two intellectual property rights; namely trademark ownership and copyrights.
To facilitate this, the Customs Department has created a new “Procedures/ Tariffs Division” that works in close contact with the Trademarks Registrar.
Trademark owners/representatives must register with the sad division in order to be notified upon the arrival of any infringing products prior to their clearance.
The registration requirements are:
- Contact details of trademark owner/ legal representative, with proof of ownership.
- For trademarks, particulars thereof (i.e. name and/ or device, registration number, date and goods bearing the trademark), and marks included in agency/ distributor agreements if any.
- For copyrights, a detailed description of the item of concern, its nature, form and the name of the author and other characteristics.
- General description, source and any additional information that may assist the Customs Department in identifying the infringing products.
When products enter the country, they are checked against the existing records If the Customs Department finds visible evidence that the source, nature, quality and form of a product is different from the original, the designated officer issues a written statement in this regard and the Central Officer then carries out an examination of the goods in question.
If sufficient proof of violation is found then action is taken to stop the clearance of the infringing products.
The “Procedures/ Tariffs Division” is notified and consequently coordinates with either the Trademarks Registrar or with the National Library depending on the nature of infringement. The division is also responsible for notifying the original trademark owner, who must in turn initiate legal proceedings at the relevant courts within 8 days of notification; otherwise the infringing products are released provided important requirements are in order.
If an Intellectual Property owner is aware of any infringing products entering the country, he is also able to initiate this procedure from his end by filing an application at the court and submitting evidence of rightful ownership from damages that might arise in case the applicant was proven wrong in his claim.
Once the courts issue their decision, the Customs Department is notified and the “Procedures/ Tariffs Division” is subsequently entrusted with the execution of the decision.
The above procedures will no doubt contribute to limiting the trade of pirated or infringing products that mislead consumers and harm the interests of their rightful owners.