"Biggest fine in history after the largest ever seizure of counterfeit goods in Ecuador"

A fine of US$ 95,625 was imposed in a trademark infringement case involving the largest ever seizure of counterfeit goods in Ecuador, following a raid carried out by the Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Office itself. This is the biggest fine imposed in a trademark infringement case, and the first case in which a trademark infringer has been fined the maximum amount permitted by the law, US$52,500.

The Ecuadorian IP Office, following a raid carried out simultaneously at seven commercial establishments in three different cities – Guayaquil, Manta and Portoviejo, seized more than 37,000 items infringing the 3D registered trademarks of Crocs, Inc.

This seizure represents the biggest ever made by the IP Office, for which it was necessary to initiate four parallel actions against four infringers.

In the defense it was claimed that the 3D registered mark is a usual form for the goods in question. However, in its decision the IP Office confirmed the validity of the registrations, the existence of an infringement and the retention of the seized products, fining the infringers a total of US$ 95,625 (including the maximum fine allowed for by law of US$ 52,500 for one of the infringers).

The fine complies with the duty of control and sanctions of the local office, and also has as its intention an exemplary sanction for other infringers, setting a precedent that should be used in similar cases.

The importance of this resolution lies not only in the amount of the fine, but also in the absolute resolve of the authorities to enforce trademark rights in the face of challenges to their validity, mechanisms often employed by infringers to put off the conclusion of the infringement actions and avoid indemnity proceedings.

This article is un update to one previously published at the following link: