Infringement of Hennessy trademark rights

The Latvian State Revenue Services confiscates 2820 bottles marked with Hennessy trademarks


In March 2014, having performed the customs control to a cargo meant for export to Kazakhstan, the Latvian Customs stated that in the cargo there were alcoholic beverages with Hennessy trademarks and these goods were considered as suspicious. Consequently the Customs informed about the temporarily detained goods to the right holder's representative – Patent and IP Law Office PETERSONA PATENTS.


The trademark owners confirmed that the subject goods were not the goods which they had manufactured and released on the market because the information on packaging and labels, like lot cods were erased, cut out and changed. With this it was stated that the detained goods could not be considered as originals.


The consignee of the cargo appealed the decision on confiscation of the subject goods adopted by the Latvian Customs before the Director General of the Latvian State Revenue Service (SRS) and got rejection.


Further the consignee filed a complaint against the SRS decision before the Riga City Ziemelu District Court.


Having reviewed the case on the merits, the Riga City Ziemelu District Court in its judgement of 16.12.2015 decided to reject the complaint and leave the initial decision of the Customs Board and decision of the SRS into full force. Gatis Merzvinskis, lawyer, Patent Attorney represented the right holder (victim) - Societe Jas Hennessy & Co in the subject Administrative violation case at the Court hearing and provided respective explanations and argumentation.


In its judgement the Court agreed with the position and argumentation of PETERSONA PATENTS and the SRS. Namely it was indicated that only the very right holder can confirm that he had any agreement for the use of the trademark with any other persons. If the trademark owner indicates and confirms that the detained goods infringe its intellectual property rights and admits that the trademark was used without consent of the owner then such notice is a sufficient proof to presume that the goods are counterfeit. As one can see from the materials of the case, the victim (trademark owner) in its witness statement indicated that the subject goods must be considered as counterfeits.


Moreover the right holder in its statement was clearly explained that on the detained goods, having carefully examined the subject goods and the packaging, its trademarks were used and such goods were not manufactured by the right holder. Since the trademarks are used on the goods which were not manufactured by the right holder, the trademarks on such goods are used without any consent of the right holders and shall be considered as counterfeits.