ECJ set for case of Nokia fakes


A court case involving Nokia and HM Revenue and Customs, (HMRC) which found in favour of HMRC, was taken to the Court of Appeal on November 9.

Nokia took HMRC to court over a batch of counterfeit goods that it had intercepted at Heathrow in July 2008. HMRC refused to confiscate the goods as they were not for use in the EU, a point stipulated in current EU legislation.

Nokia argued the goods, comprising 400 Nokia-branded handsets, batteries, manuals, boxes and handsfree kits should have been confiscated as it was en route to Colombia via Hong Kong.

In the July ruling, the court said clarity was needed for the definition of “in the course of trade”.

The Court of Appeal is to pose questions to the ECJ on November 18 to determine whether the High Court ruling should remain.

Withers & Rogers LLP head of trade mark Fiona McBride said: “It has not been confirmed what questions the Court of Appeal will pose to the ECJ.

“It is likely that the outcome will be in line with the High Court’s ruling because the ECJ must rely on the existing law, but it will possibly ask for the trademark legislation to be addressed by the Government.

“Unfortunately, the current law needs updating and it is likely Nokia and other brand owners will lobby the Government to change to law.”
Nokia declined to comment.