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.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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