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COUNTERFEIT GOODS SOLICITORS.

 

THE LAW

 

These will often be investigated by Trading Standards or other government agency.

 

It can involve items being sold on a market stall or shop or being sold online on ebay and other sites.

 

 

 

You may have been charged with a counterfeiting offence in one of 3 ways –

 

– Trademarked goods such as designer clothes (sometimes known as passing off).

 

– Copyright goods such as DVDs.

 

– Counterfeit currency.

 

Trademarked Goods

 

These are prosecuted under s92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994. There are 3 types of offences, applying trademark signs to goods or packaging.

 

It is an offence to apply a sign identical to, or likely to be mistaken for registered trade mark to goods or their packaging provided it is with a view to gain for yourself or another, or with intent to cause loss to another, and provided it is without the consent of the owner of the trade mark— (Trade Marks Act Section 92 (1) (a))

 

 

It is also an offence to sell or hire; or offer to sell or hire; or distribute goods which bear such a sign. (Trade Marks Act Section 92 (1) (b))

 

 

Even if you are not caught applying these signs or selling items with these signs it is an offence to be in possession of any such goods provided in it is the course of a business.  (Trade Marks Act Section 92 (1) (c))

 

 

It is also an offence to apply trade marks to brochures or advertising material. (Trade Marks Act Section 92 (2) (a))

 

 

It is an offence to make an articles designed or adapted for making signs identical to or likely to be mistaken for a registered trade mark (Trade Marks Act Section 92 (3) (a)) or have such an item in your possession (Trade Marks Act Section 92 (3) (b)). Again this is provided that it is with a view to gain for yourself or another or to cause loss to another and without consent. The possession offences have to be in the course of a business.

 

These offences can be heard in the Magistrates or Crown Court. The maximum sentence for these offences is 10 years.

 

 

Copyright Goods such as DVDs

 

These offences are covered by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

 

The relevant sections are Section 107

 

The offences include: Making copyright infringing items without the licence from the Copyright owner,  (Designs and Patents Act 1988 section 107 (1) (a))

 

Importing infringing copies  (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 107 (1) (b))

 

Possessing an article with a view to committing any act infringing the copyright.  (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 107 (1) (c))

 

Where in the course of a business you sell, let for hire or offers or exposes for sale or hire, or exhibit in public, or distribute without the licence from the copyright owner (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 107 (1) (d))

 

Even if it is not in the course of a business if you distribute  to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright it is an offence under (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 107 (1) (e))

 

It is an offence to make an article specifically designed or adapted for making copies of a particular copyright work, or to have this item in your possession.

 

The Prosecution have to prove that you knew or had reason to believe that it was to be used to make infringing copies for sale or hire or for use in the course of a business. (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 107 (2)

 

You may be accused of infringing copyright by communicating the work to the public either in the course of a business of if not in the course of a business if it is done to such an extent as to prejudicially affect the owner of the copyright. The Prosecution will have to prove all of the elements together with the fact that you knew or had reason to believe you were infringing copyright. (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 107 (2) (A))

 

It is also an offence to cause copyright work to be played or shown in public  Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 107 (3)

 

SENTENCING

 

These offences can result in a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The sentence will depend upon the amounts involved, the length of time it has been going on and your involvement in the offence. If you plead guilty we can work with you to build a strong argument to get you the best sentence possible.

 

HOW WE CAN HELP

 

We understand that very often people accused of these sort of offences have no previous involvement with the criminial justice system.

 

We will guide you through the whole process and make it as undaunting as possible. Whether this is your first or fiftieth offence we will treat the matter as priority in a non judgemental way.

 

These are often complex areas of law and it is important that you get advice as soon as possible. We often work with people to try and avoid a prosecution in relation to these matters. We believe in being pro active and representing your interests as strongly as possible. 

 

If you are facing an investigation into any of these offences call us on 01623 600645 for free initial advice.