Friday, March 31, 2006

Tough New Counterfeit Goods Law

The President has signed the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act. The law is based on the findings of Congress that counterfeit merchandise is a growing concern for the U.S. economy. The act specifically mentions automotive parts, electrical appliances, toys, and office equipment. The act also mentions a link between product counterfeiting and terrorist organizations.

The law adds language to the existing law to prohibit trafficking in tags, labels, containers, badges, wrappers, and similar products knowing that they contain a counterfeit mark. Products found to contain such marks are to be forfeited to the United States. While they're at it, the U.S. will also get the proceeds from the use of the marks and any property used to facilitate the commission of the offense. Look for that cool stuff at an auction near you. Lastly, the act forces the Sentencing Commission to review the relevant guidelines for criminal sentencing and, if appropriate, amend them.

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