TOUGHER COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK LAWS ENHANCE ENFORCEMENT OF COUNTERFEIT GOODS

On October 13, 2008, bill S.3325 was signed into law to enhance the domestic enforcement of intellectual property rights. This law toughens civil and criminal laws and penalties to improve coordination of federal efforts against counterfeiting and increases resources for Justice Department programs to combat trade in counterfeit goods.

The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 includes the following provisions.

  • Civil damages in trademark counterfeiting cases are doubled to a range of $1,000 to $200,000 for the use of a counterfeit mark and to $2 million for the wilful use of a counterfeit mark.
  • Criminal offences for trafficking in counterfeit goods or services and violations of the Economic Espionage Act are harmonized with laws affecting trademarks for counterfeit documentation or packaging.
  • Maximum penalties for counterfeiting offenses that endanger public health and safety have been increased to 20 years imprisonment for knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury and to life imprisonment for knowingly or recklessly causing or attempting to cause death.

Information on this and other recent developments can be obtained from our technical consulting group.