In an attempt by the Qatar Authorities to fight counterfeit, they have activated Article 24 Section 3 of the Trademarks Law for 1978, which states that “the owner of a registered trademark has the right to prohibit third parties from using trademarks or signs similar to his mark in such a way that might mislead the public, for goods or services in respect of which the mark is registered or for similar goods or services”. This was implemented by establishing a Specialized Anti-Counterfeit Unit at the Trademarks Office under the direct supervision of the Registrar.
In case of infringement of a registered trademark, the following measures can be taken:
- The plaintiff files a complaint with the Trademark Office and submits samples of the original and counterfeit products and a copy of the relevant trademark registration certificate.
- The Registrar will instruct the Anti-Counterfeit Unit to investigate the matter by sending an official to the location of the infringed products. The said official will check the products and should they be ascertained that they are in fact counterfeits, he will identify himself as an official of the said unit and seize the fake products. Furthermore, he will request the infringer to disclose all information regarding these goods including their source, sales, customs declarations, storage and warehouses.
- The investigation official will then report this findings to the Registrar, who will approve the confiscation order.
- Upon confiscation of the products, the defendant has the right to appeal the confiscation decision within one week at the First Instant Court; otherwise, the counterfeits will be destroyed.
- The Registrar may summon both the plaintiff and defendant for a hearing at the Trademark Office, during which an amicable settlement might be made.
- Should the defendant dispose of the goods after their seizure but before their confiscation, the case will then be transferred to the Criminal Court.
- If the plaintiff wishes to claim damages and remedies, he should file a case with the First Instant Court accompanied by a copy of the Registrar’s decision.