SOURCE: International Trademark Association (INTA)

September 15, 2005 13:18 ET

INTA Welcomes New U.S. Anticounterfeiting Legislation

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 15, 2005 -- The International Trademark Association (INTA), the largest organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection of trademarks and the promotion of brands as indicators of quality and reliability, welcomes the introduction of U.S. Senate bill 1699, the "Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act," by U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, which was introduced on September 14, has 11 co-sponsors, including Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking Democratic member of the Judiciary panel. The bill is aimed at strengthening and clarifying U.S. domestic anticounterfeiting laws. By some estimates, counterfeiting is a $500 billion worldwide industry.

"INTA is grateful to Senators Specter and Leahy for the introduction of this bill and their leadership on anticounterfeiting matters," said INTA Executive Director, Alan C. Drewsen. Mr. Drewsen added, "The threat posed by counterfeit goods is very real and very dangerous. Counterfeits steal jobs, lead to lost revenue for the public and private sector and, most importantly, represent a significant threat to the health and safety of consumers." Counterfeit products are typically made with inferior materials, such as sawdust used to make bogus brake pads, that fall apart easily and lead to accidents; or in the case of counterfeit baby formula, contain poisons or harsh chemicals that can harm children.

S.1699 provides for forfeiture and destruction of counterfeit goods, as well as forfeiture of property and assets derived from counterfeiting. It also prohibits trafficking in counterfeit labels, patches, stickers, etc. that are unattached to goods. The latter provision is in response to a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which found no criminal liability for trafficking in counterfeit labels bearing a trademark not otherwise affixed to any goods.

"S.1699 closes a loophole in the law and sends a message that the U.S. Congress and trademark owners are serious about stopping counterfeiters," said Mr. Drewsen. "INTA is a strong advocate of policies and increased funding for enforcement agencies so that consumers can be assured that the products they purchase are truly the genuine article," he added.

S.1699 is the Senate companion to H.R. 32, a bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support last May. INTA urges prompt consideration of S.1699 by the Senate Judiciary Committee and swift resolution of the very minor differences between the two versions of the bill.

For more information on INTA's anticounterfeiting efforts, please visit the INTA website at www.inta.org.

About INTA

The International Trademark Association (INTA), founded in 1878, is an association of more than 4,700 member companies and firms from more than 180 countries, dedicated to the support and advancement of trademarks and related intellectual property as elements of fair and effective national and international commerce. For information on the Association and its goals, visit www.inta.org.

Contact Information

  • INTA Public Relations
    Justin Hajny
    Marketing Coordinator
    + 1-212-642-1743
    Email Contact

    Daryl G. Grecich, CAE
    Director, Marketing and Communications
    + 1 (212) 642-1707