This morning at the White House the President will sign into law H.R. 32, the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act. Thanks to Rep. Joe Knollenberg(R-MI) for pushing this bill forward, and to his leadership, this law gives the US government some long-overdue and much-needed tools to fight this pernicious crime, now estimated to be as large as $500 billion in global trade of fake products.
This law provides for some tougher criminal penalties, including forfeiture of the goods and of the equipment that made them. It makes the export of counterfeit goods a criminal offense as well. Truth is, counterfeiting is running rampant in parts of the world that show no regard for basic copyright, trademark and intellectual property rights. This bill will go a distance toward making it easier to crack down on international counterfeiters.
As for China, where there are many counterfeit goods, as we’ve commented in this space before, we know that when they get serious about stopping it, they can do it. Recall that there’s one counterfeit product the Chinese absolutely won’t tolerate: the 2008 Beijing Olympic logo. When they put their minds to it, they can stop counterfeiting cold. We’ve seen that with the Olympic logo. Now let’s hope this law gives us and them a push to expand enforcement of basic laws that prohibit the knock off of our innovation.
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