Anti-counterfeiting efforts heat up

A new law signed by President George W. Bush last week will help U.S. law enforcement officials ramp up efforts to combat counterfeit goods in global trade, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Assn.

A new law signed by President George W. Bush last week will help U.S. law enforcement officials ramp up efforts to combat counterfeit goods in global trade, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. (SEMA). The trade group hopes this will curb counterfeit components used by trucking fleets, from tires to brake pads.

The new law – HR 32, the “Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act” – provides additional domestic and international means to protect intellectual property, and directs that seized counterfeit goods be destroyed along with the equipment, packaging and machinery used to produce the fake goods, said Stuart Gosswein, SEMA’s director of federal government affairs.

“This new law closes loopholes that have allowed traffickers to market their counterfeited goods,” he added, noting that it contains several other important provisions beyond the mandatory seizure and destruction of counterfeit products.

“It also clarifies that it is illegal for counterfeiters to sell counterfeit labels, patches and medallions as stand-alone items, to be affixed later by others to fake products,” said Gosswein. “The law also expands the definition of ‘trafficking’ to penalize a transfer of counterfeit goods even if the transfer occurs without an exchange of value. Finally, the U.S. Trade Representative now has authority to require that these tough protections be included in free trade agreements.”

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