In the United States, for someone to be charged with trafficking in counterfeit goods, the end purchaser need not be deceived into believing the product is genuine or authorized by a trademark owner. Moreover, it is a felony to intentionally traffic or attempt to traffic in goods while knowingly using a counterfeit mark. Trafficking includes the repackaging of genuine goods or services with the intent to deceive or confuse.
Hilder & Associates, P.C., is a white collar criminal defense firm. If you are accused of trafficking in counterfeit goods or services, our attorneys can defend your rights and freedom.
The Impact Of A Conviction
In addition to years in prison and fines, the penalties for trafficking in counterfeit goods include significant money damages. If convicted, the trafficker will be liable for the market cost of the genuine goods or services to the trademark owner at the rate the owner would have received if the goods or services were sold at retail price through authorized channels. This amount may be many times higher than the trafficker actually received.
In fact, the trafficker may have received nothing and still be liable for massive restitution to the trademark holder. A trafficker can be liable for the retail price of the goods and services that the trafficker was reasonably likely to receive — not just what was actually received or sold — pushing both the money damages and exposure to prison time up significantly.
The stakes are obviously high in these cases. Don’t wait to mount a strong defense against these offenses.