Combating Counterfeit Products Act passes
October 10, 2014
The Combating Counterfeit Products Act passed on October 2, 2014, almost one year after it received First Reading in the House of Commons. The Act provides trademark and copyright owners with a clear framework for combating counterfeiting and is expected to help Canadian businesses protect their brands and works. It also allows for fair compensation in the case of a violation.
“Counterfeit goods that enter the Canadian market not only harm our economy and businesses but also can be a dangerous threat to our consumers and families. That is why our government introduced the Combating Counterfeit Products Act, which will give our border guards the tools they need to work with Canadian rights holders to stop illegal counterfeit goods from entering the country,” said Industry Minister James Moore, following the passage of the Combating Counterfeit Products Act (Bill C-8) by the House of Commons.”
He added that “These counterfeit, pirated or knock-off goods threaten the integrity of Canadian brands, undermine the hard work of successful Canadian businesses, support the activities of organized crime and are typically produced without any regard or consideration for Canadian health and safety standards.
“I am pleased to see the passage of Bill C-8 today by the House of Commons with all party support. Canadians are now one step closer to having a modern, effective protection regime at our borders. I look forward to the swift passage of this bill through the Senate. Canadians support it. Our market will be safer with it. And criminals will get the message: Canada is not open to your kind of business,” concluded Moore.
Industry Canada provides the following information on the Combating Counterfeit Products Act at its website.
Key provisions include:
New border regime: The Bill will create a system to allow trademark and copyright owners to submit a “request for assistance” to the Canada Border Services Agency. Through this system, rights holders would request that border officers detain commercial shipments suspected of containing counterfeit goods, thus enabling the trademark owner to begin civil proceedings in court. To support this process, border officers will be further authorized to furnish certain information about shipments and their importers to the rights holders. Rights holders wishing to take part in the “request for assistance” system will assume certain costs associated with shipments being detained by border officers.
New civil causes of action: The Bill will allow trademark owners to seek legal recourse before counterfeit trademark goods are sold in the marketplace. Specifically, rights holders will be able to seek civil remedies for the manufacture, distribution and possession with intent to sell counterfeit goods.
New criminal offences: The Bill will ensure that selling, distributing, possessing, importing or exporting counterfeit goods for the purpose of trade will be prohibited and subject to fines and possible jail time. In addition, new criminal offences for possessing and exporting counterfeit goods for the purpose of trade will be added to the Copyright Act, which would allow the RCMP to seize counterfeit goods.