President Bush signed the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act
into law March 17.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Joe Knollenberg , R-MI, at the
beginning of the 109th Congress with the support of Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and its members who helped craft the bill
and worked for its passage. The final version of the bill passed in the House
on March 7 and the Senate on Feb. 15.
The new counterfeiting law extends federal seizure authority to include
not only the infringing product, but also the tooling, equipment and supplies
used to produce and traffic counterfeit goods and criminalizes production of
stickers, tags boxes or other items used to traffic fake products.
The law also expands the current definition of trafficking to include
the import and export of counterfeit goods and clearly specifies that it is
illegal to give away counterfeit goods in exchange for some future benefit – in
effect, the “bartering” of counterfeit goods. Networks of counterfeiters have
used these loopholes to frustrate investigation and prosecution under current
Phony products account for between 5 and 8 percent of all good sold
worldwide, according to the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Bootleg items can be almost anything anymore. In fact, CBSnews.com reported that the automotive
industry has turned up enough counterfeit products to actually build a car.
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 Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association press
release on the passage of the original Senate version of the bill.