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Taking action on IP at ISSA/INTERCLEAN12th of June 2012
The issue of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and preventing infringements among exhibitors was a top priority for the organisers of ISSA/INTERCLEAN in Amsterdam recently.
This year, for the first time, a much stricter policy was implemented by Amsterdam RAI and ISSA following an initiative by ECJ. The aim - to protect the IPR of original manufacturers at the show and prevent products that may be infringing that IP from being exhibited.
So the conditions of participation were revised and made more specific, so that in the case of serious doubt Amsterdam RAI was entitled to request the removal of that specific product or service.
In order to monitor the situation around the show, an independent expert committee was installed to advise the organisers and act upon any disputes raised by exhibitors. That committee was made up of Bernd Heilmann from Germany, Peter Holt of the UK and France's Jean Claude Frezal. An IP legal desk was also available to all exhibitors, where an IP specialist lawyer was present.
All exhibitors were informed of the new IP policy on several occasions, by letter and email.
During the course of ISSA/INTERCLEAN there were three incidents on which the expert committee was asked to advise on whether there was serious doubt of infringement and intervene.
On one occasion the committee decided it was too difficult – because of the complicated chemical nature of the products as well as a history of legal proceedings between the companies – to come to a conclusion.
On the other two occasions, the committee decided there was serious doubt of infringement, and in both cases the suspected infringing could not produce (in Europe) valid evidence that they were not infringing. In the first case, the suspected infringer blatantly refused to remove the products and has therefore been banned from all ISSA/INTERCLEAN exhibitions for three years, and from two ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam editions.
In the second case the infringed exhibitor contacted a bailiff independently, before Amsterdam RAI asked the (suspected) infringer to remove the products.