21 January 2021
An AFA (Application For Action) allows IP rights holders to protect their rights from suspecting infringement. Trademarks, copyrights, designs and patents can all be protected. Doing so will allow Border Force to detain goods that are suspected to be infringing.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Group urges those to protect their IP rights as soon as possible by applying for an AFA.
As the transition period is over, to have the protection you need at UK borders, you will need to apply directly to the UK. Those who can apply are either an IP rights holder, an IP rights management collective body or those formally authorised to both use and start court proceedings to protect the rights.
There are different things rights holders need to take into consideration depending on if they already have applied before 1st January 2021, after the transition period and if the application was made through another EU member state.
You need to take action to engage with border force. Co-operation is the most effective way by providing information to customs that may help identify suspected infringing goods more easily and allow them to take the necessary action.
The Intellectual Property Office Website goes into the Application For Actions in more depth and also what right holders need to consider in regards to what you need to think about before you apply, when to apply, how to apply, the costs involved and what happens after you have applied.
For more information and guidance please visit the HM Revenue and Customs website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-action-to-protect-your-intellectual-property-rights
ACG represents more than 3,000 brands affected by this influx of fakes into the UK and delivers an international network of information, advice and contacts on all aspects of IP protection. Working with Government and law enforcement agencies since 1980, ACG is focused on providing an effective and sustained response to counterfeiting.
Membership with the ACG is the best way to work with government and enforcement bodies to protect your brand. Our Roadshows and training days help you reach out to police, trading standards and border force officers and tell them about your genuine products.