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Local Court Holds Transport Company Not Responsible for Counterfeit Products

In a recent case, Istanbul IP Court reviewed the dispute between brand owner, known with its famous and highly expensive bags, and a transportation company. The bag manufacturer claimed compensation against the transportation company for 20 counterfeit bags detected during the customs procedures. The transportation company defended itself suggesting that the products are owned by a third party in China and that their sole responsibility was to collect the goods from the Customs and deliver to the port. The transportation company also argued that the transportation was not made because the seizure of goods has taken place in the customs area, before the goods were loaded in the trucks.

The Court dismissed the action and stated that the transportation company cannot be held responsible because the only action the transportation company has taken was to declare the goods in accordance with the customs regulations. The Court further went on saying that even if the goods has been loaded in the trucks run by the transportation company, the transportation company still could not be held responsible because neither Trademark Law not Customs Law does not allow or orders transporters to check the content of what they carry unless it is clearly seen the content is infringing and/or infringing. The Court referred the EU regulations stipulating that carriers cannot be held countable for infringing activities unless their active involvement in the infringing activities is evidenced.

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