Counterfeit goods manufacturing is not a new thing in the world in the world of trademarks and intellectual property rights. Counterfeiting goods has become such a huge industry and it basically all started with manufacturers taking advantage of consumers’ lack of knowledge in distinguishing counterfeit goods from real ones. Because counterfeit goods manufacturing in Mozambique is ever-growing, there are laws that are established to mitigate its spread and ultimately, stop this illegal activity.
This law defines that manufacturing counterfeit goods are considered as an infringement by the manufacturer that copies a known and registered trademark without permission from the proprietor.
This supports the previous law in such a way that it classifies the infringement committed as an offense to industrial property.
Like the Mozambican Industrial Property Code Article 73, this law suggests that the infringer should be considered a criminal and should be fined, or even serve time in jail, according to Article 310 of this very same law.
The government of Mozambique has designated a special task force that’s the only job is to cease any activities that are in some way related to counterfeiting, it’s the National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (NIEA), and it’s under the command of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. This task force does an inspection on every place where commerce, manufacturing and the service industry is operating throughout the country, especially the nation’s capital, Maputo.
The NIEA’s vision is to cease the distribution of copied goods like bags, shoes, clothing, perfume, filters, toners, printers, which predominantly comes from the Asian continent. Counterfeiting not only affects the trademark owners for lost revenue, but it also affects the states, as the manufacturers and distributors of these counterfeit products, do not pay anything in taxes, and one more serious issue is the effect of these counterfeit goods to the public health because of their substandard and lack of quality control nature.
The job of the NIEA would start when a complaint from a trademark owner reaches their office. To make the importation of the counterfeit goods stop, the owners of the trademark can file an informal application to the customs, which states that the goods that are entering the country with the relevant trademarks that aren’t the same as the trademark owner’s or the authorized trademark users would unequivocally be labeled as counterfeit.
Mozambique’s fight with counterfeit heavily lies in the shoulders of the NIEA, which are driven to resolve this issue, and as much as possible, mitigate it during the process. They are one with the government which is just as motivated as they are in fighting this illegal activity.
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