IP border enforcement: Customs action

Owners of certain intellectual property (IP) rights can file a request for assistance (RFA) with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and seek the assistance of the CBSA to detain suspected counterfeit goods and pirated works at the border. This will allow for the inspection and detention of counterfeit goods and pirated works imported from or exported to another country.

Canada's IP border enforcement program applies only to copyright, geographical indications and registered trademarks; it does not cover patents or industrial designs.

How the program works

Step 1: Ensure that your trademark or geographical indication is registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and your information is up to date. Registering a copyright with CIPO is not mandatory, but it is recommended.

Step 2: Complete the RFA form and submit it to the CBSA for processing.

Step 3: Wait for confirmation of enrollment and an approval letter outlining the program's specific details.

Step 4: Once your request has been approved, if the CBSA intercepts suspected counterfeit goods or pirated works, you will be notified and given the opportunity to take appropriate action.

Step 5: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is responsible for leading any criminal investigations related to commercial scale counterfeiting and piracy.

Get professional help

Solving conflicts involving IP rights is often complex. Consult an IP professional, such as an IP agent or lawyer, to discuss the next steps if you believe your IP rights are being infringed upon.

If IP infringement is happening in another country, a Canadian IP professional may be able to coordinate work with an IP professional in the other country to enforce your IP rights.