Combating Counterfeit Products Act toughens Trade-marks and Copyright laws.
TORONTO — The CSA Group has added its support to the federal government’s Combating Counterfeit Products Act, announced on March 1.
The Toronto-based testing standards certification organization says the act, which proposes changes to the Trade-marks Act and the Copyright Act to prohibit the import and export of counterfeit trademark goods, would give customs border officers (and RCMP officers) the authority and discretion to search for, examine, and temporarily detain commercial shipments of suspected counterfeit goods at the border.
CSA, a founding member of the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN), warns of the safety issues related to counterfeit products entering the Canadian marketplace.
“Fake products can put consumers at real risk of injury or death, particularly products that have not been tested to safety standards and bear fake CSA certification marks,” says CSA.
The act also has the support of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
“This has been a longstanding priority issue for manufacturers,” said Jayson Myers, CME’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Counterfeit goods entering Canada punish legitimate businesses. They are a drain on our economy and on jobs – and they put the health, safety and environment of every Canadian at risk.”
Indeed, counterfeiting goes beyond DVDs and other consumer goods.
Industry is dealing with an influx of knock-off parts and components, such as bearings, that are difficult to distinguish from the real thing. An online report by CanadianManufacturing.com (see link below) noted bearings manufacturers have been calling for strengthened border regulations to stem the flow of fake bearings.
The CME notes the bill, which covers only commercial shipments, will bring Canada into compliance with international obligations under the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Under the new rules, intellectual property (IP) rights holders will be able to contact border officials to request a search for suspect good, border authorities will be allowed to contact IP holders when suspect goods are intercepted and trademark owners will be able to seek legal recourse for the manufacture, distribution and possession with intent to sell counterfeit goods.
New criminal offences for possessing and exporting counterfeit goods will also be added to the Copyright Act.
China remains the primary source country for all IP-infringing accounting for 80% of goods seized in Canada in 2011 where the origin was identified by the RCMP.
The Economist also reports that US officials identify as much as 80% of the fake products seized in the US originating from China.
The RCMP estimates the total retail value of seized counterfeit and pirated goods in Canada has more than doubled since 2010, reaching more than $67 million.