VOLUNTARY REGISTRATION MARKS AT SUNAT( CUSTOMS).

 In Peru piracy is a crime that involves four parts: counterfeiter, entrepreneur, importer and consumer. The counterfeiter is the one who takes the mark of an entrepreneur and uses it on his product without authorization, the importer is the one who knows the product is counterfeited and still imports it to Peru and the consumer is the one who without knowing the product is counterfeited acquires it.

 Evidently when this occurs, the affected ones are the consumer and the entrepreneur. The first one is affected when he acquires a low quality product often times defective while the second gets his reputation harmed because he believes reasonably enough the counterfeited good/ product is produced by the entrepreneur.

 INDECOPI, the Peruvian Trademark Office, provides the entrepreneur a tool to sanction those who import counterfeited products called Action for Infringement. By this action the entrepreneur can seize the counterfeited goods/ products that are in the premises of the importer and demands a fine from him. However, this is not always an effective tool because often times when the entrepreneur reaches the importer´s premises he is met with the surprise that the counterfeited products have already been sold. In other words damage to his reputation has been inflicted.

To avoid counterfeiting SUNAT – SUPERINTENDENCIA DE ADMISTRACION TRIBUTARIA -, which is in charge of Customs in Peru, provides the entrepreneur a tool called Voluntary Registration of Marks. This is nothing more than a request the entrepreneur presents to SUNAT enclosing images of his products/goods so these and his mark can be completely identified. This way when the counterfeited products arrive in Peru SUNAT will be able to detect them by comparing the counterfeited products/goods to the images of the original products/ goods provided in the application. SUNAT will not only detect but also could retain them in Customs and thus prevent the products to get into the hands of the counterfeit importer and from entering the Peruvian market.

The Voluntary Registration of Marks is not subject to fees. The application required must contain the following:
1) Image of the mark that seeks protection as well as a copy of the Certificate of Registration from INDECOPI.
2) Brief description of the goods/products the mark distinguishes: What are they? What are they used for? Where are they manufactured?
3) List of authorized distributors.
4) Images of the products/goods the mark distinguishes: Catalogs, compact discs (CDS), web page addresses where the products/goods can be visualized may also be provided.

This tool safeguards the reputation of the honest entrepreneur and prevents the Peruvian consumer from being fooled.