CONTENTS
CONTACTOSAKA
HEAD OFFICE

DAIWA MINAMIMORIMACHI BLDG.,
2-6, 2-CHOME-KITA, TENJINBASHI,
KITA-KU,OSAKA 530-0041 JAPAN
TEL:+81-6-6351-4384
(Main Number)
FAX:+81-6-6351-5664
(Main Number)
E-Mail:

TOKYO
HEAD OFFICE

WORLD TRADE CENTER BLDG. 21F,
2-4-1, HAMAMATSU- CHO, MINATO-KU,
TOKYO 105-6121,JAPAN
TEL:+81-3-3433-5810
(Main Number)
FAX:+81-3-3433-5281
(Main Number)
E-Mail:


HIROSHIMA
OFFICE

NOMURA REAL ESTATE HIROSHIMA BLDG. 4F, 2-23 TATEMACHI, NAKA-KU, HIROSHIMA CITY, HIROSHIMA 730-0032, JAPAN
TEL:+81-82-545-3680
(Main Number)
FAX:+81-82-243-4130
(Main Number)
E-Mail:


The trademark of HARAKENZO is based on a global map including lands each of which has a size corresponding to the number of patents registered in 1991.
Privacy policy

Anti-Counterfeiting Consultation
Chief of the Anti-Counterfeiting S.S. Yuki YAMAZAKI
Head of the Tokyo Legal Division Kenjiro FUJITA
Representative of Hiroshima Office Shinji IMANO
TEL
FAX
E-mail
: + 81-6-6351-4384
: + 81-6-6351-5664
:

What is the import suspension system?

The import suspension system is such a system that owners of patent rights, unity model rights, design rights, trademark rights, copyrights, copyrights-related rights or breeder’s rights or those who request an injunction of unfair competition are entitled to make an appeal to the Customs director for taking the procedure of suspending the import of the product and determining whether the product constitutes infringement, in case where the infringing products are to be imported (Article 69-13 of the Customs Law).
Among the intellectual property rights, circuit layout rights are not applicable to the import suspension, however, the owners can provide Customs with information so as to suspend the products at Customs.
* The term “those who request an injunction of unfair competition” corresponds to owners of the right (Article 3 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law) to suspend inducing confusion, arrogating marks, and imitating configuration (Article 2, paragraph 1, item 1, 2, and 3 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law).

Requirements for filing import suspension

1. Right holder (including those who posses intellectual property rights or requests an injunction of unfair competition)
Those who are entitled to appeal for import suspension are confined to a right holder, an exclusive licensee, an owner of a right of exclusive use, and an owner of a right of exclusive utilization. Identification of the right holder, the exclusive licensee, and the like is carried out by checking the register.
In addition, the right holder can delegate the procedures for filing to a lawyer or a patent attorney.

2. Request with regard to effective rights
A right registered with Patent Office or the like is considered as being effective (excluding copyright and copyright-related right), therefore, one in process of applying for registration is not applicable to the filing.
Those who request an injunction of unfair competition is expected to ask the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry for a comment on the product, which is an article or a mark stated in Article 2, paragraph 1, item 1, 2, and 3 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, as being widely-recognized in the market, and to submit the written comment to Customs.

3. Fact of infringement
The term “fact of infringement” includes not only a case of infringing products having been imported into Japan, but also a case of those having a potential to be imported into Japan.

4. Proof of fact of infringement
Presentation of the infringing product, catalogs and pictures thereof is required to prove the fact of infringement.
Further, in case where the presentation of the infringing product, the catalogs, or the like does not fulfill the proof, submission of either one of the following documents which demonstrate the infringement is required.
∙ a court-issued decision document or provisional disposition determination
∙ a written determination issued from Patent Office
∙ a written expert opinion prepared by a lawyer or a patent attorney
The written determination is regarded as more important than the written expert opinion.

5. Capability of identifying the infringing product at Customs

Procedures for filing import suspension

When filing the import suspension, application for filing and associated documents in accordance with Customs’ form have to be submitted to an intellectual property examiner in operation department of each custom.
Customs include 9 blocks of jurisdiction as Hakodate, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Moji, Nagasaki, and Okinawa, and the document is required for the number of customs for which import suspension is appealed. However, the documents can be submitted together to one that has jurisdiction over the area in which those who make the appeal live (in the case of corporation, address of the main office), or the area at which the infringing products are arrived.
There is no charge for filing the import suspension.
Additionally, preliminary consultation with Customs is permitted for purposes of quick filing. The preliminary consultation provides a confirmation related to the filing and an explanation of procedures for filling the application.

Documents required for filing import suspension
(Required documents)
1. application for filing (Customs’ form)
Main entries ∙ Customs director who makes the judgment
∙ details of the right related to the filing
(type of the right, registration number and date of registration, duration of the right, scope of the right, original owner of the right, licensee, and the like)
∙ name of the suspected infringing product
∙ basis for identifying as the infringing product
∙ distinguishing point
∙ information materials that become the basis for license fee
∙ desired period of effectiveness of the filing (within 2 years)
∙ prospective importer
2. copy of the register, publication (in the case of copyright or copyright-related right, materials that indicate the occurrence of the right; in the case of those who request an injunction of unfair competition, a written opinion of the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry)
3.documents, samples, and pictures that proves the fact of infringement
4. calculation materials of Customs clearance charge (only in the case of patent right, unity model right, and design right)
5. letter of proxy (in the case of filing with proxy)
(Reference)
1. decision document, provisional disposition determination, written determination
2. written expert opinion prepared by a lawyer or a patent attorney
3. warning letter
4. relevant documents of dispute
5. relevant documents of parallel import
6. other documents related to the infringing product

Course of import suspension


(1) Determination procedures
Determination procedures are conducted by Customs to determine whether cargoes with import declaration or international postal matters constitute infringement of intellectual property rights.
In case where the determination procedures proceed, the right holder and the importer are informed by letter from the intellectual property examiner or person in charge in Customs. In addition to the notice, the right holder is informed the name and the address of the importer, person of provenance, and producer. Likewise, the importer is informed those of the right holder.
Each of the right holder and the importer submits an opinion and evidences to Customs within a certain period. Based on the opinions and evidences, the intellectual property examiner or person in charge determines whether the cargo or the like constitutes infringement of intellectual property rights. The right holder and the importer are informed the judgment and the reason by letter.
The determination procedures require approximately a month from the start at earliest. It is possibly prolonged when the right holder and the importer have conflicting opinions.

(2) Request for canceling the determination procedures
The importer is entitled to request Customs to cancel the determination procedures after 10 workdays from the following day of the date as postmarked on the notification indicative of the start of the procedures (20 workdays if prolonged. In the case of inquiring of Commissioner of Patents, 10 days from the arrival of the Patent Office’s reply).
In this case, Customs gives order to the importer to deposit a clearance charge as a guarantee for the damage to the right holder when the infringement is confirmed.

Actual performance of import suspension by country (region) of provenance

Import seizure results classified by countries (regions) from which goods are transported (the number of cases)
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Compared with the previous year Composition ratio
China 18,893 20,996 21,235 25,007 25,844 103.3% 91.9%
Hong Kong 458 558 703 720 1,053 146.3% 3.7%
Singapore 7 12 44 21 346 1647.6% 1.2%
South Korea 1,480 574 447 274 328 119.7% 1.2%
The Philippines 403 488 488 326 214 65.6% 0.8%
The United States 75 55 45 68 119 175.0% 0.4%
Thailand 392 313 159 85 84 98.8% 0.3%
Taiwan 35 68 40 21 62 295.2% 0.2%
Vietnam 22 36 24 11 16 145.5% 0.1%
Indonesia 16 19 6 11 13 118.2% 0.0%
Countries other than the above 112 114 89 63 56 88.9% 0.2%
total 21,893 23,233 23,280 26,607 28,135 105.7% 100.0%
(Note 1) This table is based on countries (regions) from which goods are transported, and does not refer to countries (regions) in which the goods are produced.
(Note 2) The number of cases counts the number of items of general import goods and import mails in connection with infringing goods.
(Note 3) In some cases, the sum of component ratios of each section does not become 100% due to rounding off.
(Situation of seizure of intellectual property infringing goods in customs in 2013, from the Ministry of Finance web site)





Actual performance of import suspension by intellectual property
Import seizure results classified by countries (regions) from which goods are transported (the number of items)
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Compared with the previous year Composition ratio
China 847,650 515,573 558,522 979,047 507,997 51.9% 80.9%
Hong Kong 38,711 38,724 90,747 66,324 72,430 109.2% 11.5%
South Korea 76,859 30,360 33,338 23,137 24,030 103.9% 3.8%
Thailand 6,104 16,108 5,759 22,762 5,775 25.4% 0.9%
Singapore 850 7,168 1,456 485 5,745 1184.5% 0.9%
Taiwan 4,817 3,096 10,883 13,673 5,719 41.8% 0.9%
Philippines 59,840 4,980 13,900 3,163 2,847 90.0% 0.5%
United States of America 4,520 7,488 1,839 1,495 1,574 105.3% 0.3%
Macao 1,257 2,625 323 1,393 659 47.3% 0.1%
Bangladesh 898 375 14 0 559 0.1%
Country other than the above 2,516 4,191 11,453 6,113 852 13.9% 0.1%
Total 1,044,022 630,688 728,234 1,117,592 628,187 56.2% 100.0%
(Note 1) This table is based on countries (regions) from which goods are transported, and does not refer to countries (regions) in which the goods are produced.
(Note 2) The number of items counts the number of items of general import goods and import mails in connection with infringing goods.
(Note 3) In some cases, the sum of component ratios of each section does not become 100% due to rounding off.
(Situation of seizure of intellectual property infringing goods in customs in 2013, from the Ministry of Finance web site)





Import seizure results classified by intellectual properties
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Compared with the previous year Composition ratio
Patent right 15 9 8 3 2 66.7% 0.0%
27,314 4,258 16,276 2,562 331 12.9% 0.1%
Utility model right 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
Design right 88 56 88 79 43 54.4% 0.2%
81,270 49,266 26,304 21,291 10,852 51.0% 1.7%
Trademark right 21,415 22,994 22,843 26,304 27,975 106.4% 98.4%
768,534 519,274 567,107 1,012,538 599,142 59.2% 95.4%
Copyright 423 273 484 322 383 118.9% 1.3%
166,721 57,865 116,662 81,191 17,768 21.9% 2.8%
Neighboring right 0 0 1 0 0
0 0 8 0 0
The right of a trainer 0 0 1 0 0
0 0 1,815 0 0
Violation goods of Unfair Competition Prevention Act Common knowledge display confusion indecement article 19 1 3 2 3 150.0% 0.0%
183 25 62 10 34 340.0% 0.0%
Prominent display unauthorized use goods 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
Form counterfeit product 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
Technical restriction means evasion equipment 0 0 16 0.1%
0 0 60 0.0%
Total 21,893 23,233 23,280 26,607 28,135 105.7% 100.0%
1,044,022 630,688 728,234 1,117,592 628,187 56.2% 100.0%
(Note 1) The number of cases and items respectively count the number of items and cases of general import goods and import mails in connection with infringing goods.
(Note 2) In a case where a single case infringes a plurality of intellectual property rights, the number of cases is counted for each intellectual property, while the number of items is counted as to only an intellectual property which occupies the top of intellectual properties listed in the table. Accordingly, the sum of cases of each intellectual property does not correspond to the sum of the cases in the total section. Note that a component ratio is calculated on the basis of a total number of cases for each intellectual property right.
(Note 3) According to a device of a circumvention of technological limitation measures encompassed as a good which infringes the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, such a device is crocked down in customs as a good which must not be imported and exported from December 1, 2011.
(Note 4) In some cases, the sum of component ratios of each section does not become 100% due to rounding off.
(Situation of seizure of intellectual property infringing goods in customs in 2013, from the Ministry of Finance web site)

Export suspension system

The same system as import suspension has been introduced according to the law amendment in 2006.
The intended products are those infringing breeder’s right, those constituting an act under Article 2, paragraph 1, 2, and 3 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, and those infringing patent rights, unity model rights, design rights, and trademark rights.
It should be noted that copyrights and copyrights-related rights are not applicable to the export suspension.
Also, circuit layout rights are not applicable to the export suspension, as the import suspension.



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