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September 18, 2017

Concerned about counterfeits? Call the cops?

By Steven Z. Raber

Concerned about counterfeits?  Call the cops?

Well, not exactly.  Pursuant to legislative changes that came into force in 2015, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) established a process that allows intellectual property rights holders to file requests asking the CBSA to temporarily detain suspected counterfeit goods encountered at the border while rights holders seek legal redress.  In order to participate in this process, a rights holder – the owner of a registered trademark or copyright – must file a request for assistance (“RFA”) with the CBSA.  RFAs help the CBSA identify and detain commercial shipments suspected of containing counterfeit trademark goods or pirated copyrighted goods.

What’s new in 2017 is that CBSA has issued a notice advising that the CBSA Border Watch Line accepts information – what CBSA terms “intelligence” – about counterfeit or pirated goods that are dangerous.  In other words, if one becomes aware of counterfeit trademark goods or pirated copyrighted goods that are a threat to the health, safety, or security of Canadians, a toll-free call may be placed to the CBSA at 1-888-502-9060 from anywhere in Canada or the USA.

Steven Z. Raber is a lawyer, registered trademark agent, and trained mediator. You may reach Steven at (204) 957-8304 or by email at