THE H.D. LEE COMPANY, INC. owns a registered Community trade mark also valid on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria – СТМ LEE № 164228, as well as national trade mark – reg. № 10908 LEE.
On behalf of THE H.D. LEE COMPANY, INC., IP Consulting filed petitions with the Customs Agency for the application of border measures pursuant to art. 5, par. 2. of Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003, in relation to art. 78 of LTGI and the Regulation on Border Measures for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights. As a result of the border control carried out by the Customs of Svilengrad, the plaintiff received notification about the detention of goods by the customs officers. The goods seized were 30 denim pants bearing illegitimately the LEE trade mark.
Importer of the goods was the Romanian citizen Kotze Kostov. The goods were manufactured on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and the European Union. This was done without the permission of the LEE trade mark owner. The infringement consisted in the commercial use of a trade mark without the consent of the proprietor of the exclusive rights. Upon identification of the goods by the plaintiff’s experts, the goods were found to be counterfeit and with wrongly indicated manufacturer.
Import of large quantities of goods eliminates the possibility of personal use by the Romanian citizen Kotze Kostov. He probably intended to carry out business with the counterfeit goods.
IP Consulting brought the case to Sofia City Court. Pursuant to art. 76, par. 1, p. 4 of LTGI. The plaintiff asked the court to order destruction of the object of violation, namely the counterfeit pants detained by the Customs of Svilengrad.
The Court assessed the evidence gathered and considered the parties’ arguments. The court held that the facts of the case lead to the decision to destroy the object of the infringement, namely the detained by Svilengrad Customs 30 denim pants, bearing illegitimately the LEE trade mark.