counterfeit goods

What happens if you sell counterfeit goods?

A free market serves as the foundation for commerce. Sellers are free to offer items to an awaiting market and buyers can purchase such items, freely. However, certain rules govern this market; counterfeiting regulations are crucial to ensuring compliance with the law. The counterfeit goods law was established to protect those who participate in the free market. For example, buyers, sellers, companies, and individuals who’ve spent years developing their brand, are protected against trademark infringement. The design of this law ensures that all items for sale are made to certain standards and if someone engages in trademark infringement, the original creator has recourse under the law. If you or someone you love has been accused of selling counterfeit items, you may face selling counterfeit goods penalties; luckily, you have the right to seek bail.

How Bad is the Counterfeiting Problem?

Counterfeiting is the deliberate theft of intellectual property. Most people have witnessed trafficking of counterfeit goods such as a handbag or a product that falsely resembles another product. One might question how bad counterfeiting is. Tragically, selling counterfeit goods is costing honest companies millions of dollars, annually. Companies spend money researching and developing new products and require additional funding to provide new attention to the quality of such goods for the public. Many brands evoke an instant image in the public mind so when a seller takes advantage of that image and uses it to manufacture their own versions, they are using the company’s work without compensation. Many companies also dislike it when others are engaged in trafficking counterfeit goods for other reasons. They often impose tight controls on their product line to ensure quality end-products, whereas a counterfeiter does not quality check.

From Abroad

The vast majority of those who sell counterfeit goods bring them from other countries. Selling counterfeit goods can lead to a penalty which include, but are not limited to, jail time and heavy fines. American law enforcement officials closely monitor goods coming in from places known to be havens for counterfeit items. People who traffic large numbers of items from such places may be subject to a closer examination of their goods such as spot checks and demands to review necessary paperwork before being allowed into the country. However, people can bring in a small number of goods for their own personal use per year.

Many Laws

If a company or an individual is suspected of selling counterfeit items, the original company has legal recourse and may engage in legal actions against those violating their copyright and American counterfeiting laws; this typically begins with a cease-and-desist letter. The definition of counterfeiting is clear under the law; companies and individuals are not allowed to use another company’s logo or other related intellectual property without their expressed permission. Even if the product is clearly not authentic, this is still considered counterfeiting goods. Any buying and selling of counterfeit goods are illegal under the law.

Potential Penalties

If someone is accused of selling counterfeit goods, it is important to take the allegations seriously. The company may have done so unknowingly, and therefore wish to defend their right to continue production, however, the company alleging counterfeiting still has the right to go to court and argue their case. A judge will determine if there is evidence of copyright violation. The accused company can agree to stop making goods that might be considered counterfeit, or they may fight such charges. If the company is found guilty of a violation, they can be subject to the seizure of their goods without compensation, as well as the imposition of fines. The company’s owners may also be subject to other forms of punishment. Individual owners can be punished by jail or prison sentencing for engaging in counterfeit selling.

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