LEAV­ING A BIT­TER TASTE

Business Day - Business Law and Tax Review - - BUSINESS LAW & TAX REVIEW -

African leg­is­la­tion, all con­sum­able prod­ucts must dis­play a best be­fore date and any prod­uct not bear­ing this date or an ex­pired date should be avoided or queried with the brand or store owner.

Con­sumers who have been af­fected by the in­fe­rior prod­ucts will nat­u­rally hold the orig­i­nal man­u­fac­tur­ers li­able for ei­ther the in­fe­rior qual­ity of the prod­uct or sub­se­quent ill­ness af­ter con­sump­tion. This is se­verely dam­ag­ing to their brand and will have last­ing rep­u­ta­tional and fi­nan­cial reper­cus­sions.

Distrib­u­tors, sup­pli­ers and re­tail­ers need to be aware of the po­ten­tial of coun­ter­feit prod­ucts un­der their brand while coun­ter­feit­ers should take heed that in terms of Sec­tion 2 of the Coun­ter­feit Goods Act 37 of 1997, the pos­ses­sion, man­u­fac­ture, sale, of­fer­ing for sale, dis­tri­bu­tion, ex­hi­bi­tion to the pub­lic for the pur­poses of sale and im­por­ta­tion of coun­ter­feit prod­ucts are pro­hib­ited and con­sti­tute of­fences. Those fall­ing foul of the Coun­ter­feit Goods Act may face both civil and crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings be­ing in­sti­tuted against them by the pro­pri­etors of the au­then­tic prod­ucts.

There is no quick fix recipe to pro­tect against coun­ter­feit foods prod­ucts. SA is, how­ever, one of the few African coun­tries where the en­force­ment of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty (IP) rights is both pos­si­ble and rel­a­tively af­ford­able for brand hold­ers.

It is also one of the few African coun­tries that makes pro­vi­sion for

Pic­ture: iS­TOCK

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