Bill C-56: Combating Counterfeit Products Act

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Parliament has introduced a new bill (Bill C-56) to amend the Copyright Act and the Trade-marks Act, to combat counterfeit products. The bill, if it becomes law, would add new civil and criminal remedies such as:

  • opening up new rights to sue for damages for counterfeits and infringing activity;
  • creating new criminal offences for trade-mark counterfeits (which would mirror those currently found in the Copyright Act);
  • creating new criminal offences prohibiting the possession or export of infringing copies or counterfeit trade-marked goods, packaging or labels;
  • grants new powers for enforcement of IP rights at the border (including detaining goods that are suspected of infringing copyright or trade-marks).

Since amendment of the Trade-marks Act is so rare, the government is also taking the opportunity to expand the scope of what can be registered as a trade-mark and fix a few other procedural problems with the current Act. This new bill is designed to bring Canada into compliance with Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

This is one to watch in 2013.