Canada Begins Combating Counterfeit Products with New Law

January 8th, 2015 by

Bill C-8, a.k.a. the Combating Counterfeit Products Act (the “CCPA“), received Royal Assent on December 9, 2014 and is now law.  The CCPA amends the Copyright Act and the Trademarks Act to add new civil and criminal remedies and new border measures in both Acts, in order to strengthen the enforcement of copyright and trademark rights and to curtail commercial activity involving infringing copies and counterfeit trade-marked goods

Specific enforcement mechanisms contained in CCPA include new civil prohibitions giving copyright and trademark owners the ability to start civil actions against those who infringe their trademark or copyright by possessing, manufacturing, distributing or trafficking goods for commercial purposes; new criminal offences for possessing, manufacturing, distributing or trafficking counterfeit goods for commercial purposes; granting customs officials ex-officio power to seize and detain suspected counterfeit goods; and granting copyright and trademark owners the power to file a “request for assistance” with customs officials to increase the information available to customs regarding possible counterfeit goods.

While the expressed goal of CCPA, to cut down on counterfeit goods and help companies defend their copyrights and trademarks is commendable, CCPA has been criticized on a number of fronts, including lack of supervision and oversight of summary border enforcement and enforcement errors by officials, and the practical effectiveness of requesting assistance by copyright and trademark owners.

We will continue to monitor the coming into force of the CCPA. For more information regarding the Combating Counterfeit Products Act, please feel free to contact one of Devry Smith Frank’s Intellectual Property Law Group.

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