Are you sure you have never bought or sold any illegal promotional products?
The risk is real and becomes higher each day.
It’s a fact, trespassing law when buying and selling promotional products can happen, often without you being aware of it. Which are the circumstances where you can buy or sell illegal promotional products and what risks do you incur ?
- Promotional products that make an infringement on a local patent
- Promotional products for small children that do not comply with safety requirements
This risk is growing fast, because inexperienced distributors now buy promotional products directly from China. Most of these distributors have no idea about existing patents in their countries. Many utility patents, design patents or trademarks exist for promotional products. Of course, the Chinese producer doesn’t care about this and will always claim his ignorance. I visited two large trade fairs for promotional products in China a few months ago, and many exhibitors proposed copies of patented products.
Now, what if a distributor buys a product in China, which is patented in the country where he will sell it?
This constitutes a breach of law. The product is considered faulty by the law, therefore you do not have the right to sell it or use it. Who is responsible?
Everyone or nearly: The patent holder can sue the producer if the product is registered in its country, the importer, the distributor, the final user.
There is a slight difference for the final user who can plead ignorance.
Toys with small parts intended for children under age 3
Toys with sharp points or rough edges
Toys filled with toxic materials.
Uninflated or broken balloons in the hands of small children
how to be sure that the product you are going to buy is legal? I believe the best way is to buy your products from an experienced importer.