Customs and the Wiggles See Red Over Board Game

News Limited are reporting that the Wiggles have taken action against a toy importer for trademark infringement following seizure by Australian customs of a number of board games imported from Canada.

The Wiggles have dozens of registered trademarks in Australia and notably many of these marks cover toys and board games.

Q: So how and why did Customs seize these goods?

A: The Wiggles have a Notice of Objection in place with Australian customs.


Customs Notices

Products bearing intellectual property rights are frequently manufactured overseas (without permission of the trade mark owner) and imported and sold in Australia or New Zealand.

One way to combat this is via a customs notice.   Customs notices for registered trademarks and works protected by copyright may be lodged with the Customs Services in Australia and New Zealand.

Lodgement of a customs notice will allow Customs Officers to look for and seize suspected counterfeit goods as they enter the country. Importantly, if there is no Notice in place, Customs cannot seize infringing goods.

The Wiggles are not alone, many trademark owners take adavantage of customs notices in Australia and New Zealand (A list for Australia and New Zealand can be found here and here).


Notice requirements:


A single notice can be lodged for all trade marks owned by you.
The notice lasts for four years.
No security bond required, although an undertaking is required.

New Zealand

A notice must be lodged for each trade mark (that you wish to be covered) owned by you.
Notices last for five years.
NZ$5,000 must be lodged as security deposit.

Typically an attorney firm would prepare and file the notices on your behalf, and act as your address for service.

Once notices are in place and when Customs seizes infringing goods, it notifies the nominated address for service. The importer then has 10 working days (unless extended) to consent to forfeiture of the goods.

If the importer does not consent to forfeit within the 10 days, the registered owner must commence legal proceedings to stop the goods being released by Customs to the importer.

For enquiries relating to Customs Notices contact