Anti-counterfeiting legislation advances in U.S. House

Anti-counterfeiting legislation (H.R. 32), backed by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), was passed by voice vote by the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. The subcommittee voted without objection to send the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act measure to the full House Judiciary Committee.

"AAIA first addressed trademark piracy in 1984 with the Trademark Counterfeiting Act, which for the first time made counterfeit trafficking a federal crime punishable by fines and imprisonment," said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. "However, existing law does not require the destruction of the equipment and materials used to make the fakes, thus permitting a convicted pirate to quickly resume trafficking."

H.R. 32 would add mandatory destruction provisions to the trademark law to help put the criminals out of business. In addition, the bill would clarify that it is illegal for counterfeiters to sell counterfeit versions of the trademarks themselves on labels, patches and medallions, for use by others who affix them to counterfeit products.

"AAIA actively supports H.R. 32, and we were proud that the bill's sponsor Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich., briefed attendees at the recent Aftermarket Legislative Summit," Schmatz said. "Summit participants reported strong support for H.R. 32's tough anti-counterfeiting measures from both the House and Senate offices they visited."

Supporters of the legislation also expect that the important enhancements to U.S. law provided by H.R. 32 will empower American trade negotiators to ask similar statutory protections from the many trade partners that currently are seeking, or will seek in the future, to enter Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the U.S.

For more information on H.R. 32, contact Lee Kadrich at [email protected]

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