Anti-counterfeiting bill passes Senate

| 12/13/2005

A bill that would implement criminal penalties for the counterfeiting of products passed the Senate unanimously Nov. 10.

Dubbed “Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act,” S1699 would establish criminal penalties for people who intentionally traffic, or attempt to traffic, in labels or packaging knowing that a counterfeit is used, the use of which was likely to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive, according to a summary of the bill.

This is the companion bill to HR32, also called the “Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act,” which was passed on a voice vote by the House on May 23.

The “Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act,” S1699, which passed the Senate Nov. 10, is an important piece of legislation that will strengthen federal laws against product counterfeiting, according to the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

“Product counterfeiting undermines U.S. and foreign safety standards, putting consumers at risk. We cannot let this go on, at home or abroad,” said Paul Foley, president of MEMA’s Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association and executive director of its Brand Protection Council.

The FBI estimates that product counterfeiting costs U.S. businesses $200 billion to $250 billion annually. Product counterfeiting is estimated to cost American automotive suppliers approximately $12 billion in lost sales annually, according to a MEMA press release on the passage of S1699.

The two bills now go to conference committee for resolution, and if agreed upon will be passed to the president for his signature.