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.