What does the Counterfeit Goods Act protect?
This law in South Africa (from 1 January 1998) introduces measures aimed against trade in counterfeit goods. Such laws already exist in first-world countries, eg the UK.
Who is protected?
You, the owner of trademarks, copyright works and certain merchandise marks are given more effective ways than were available in the past to prevent piracy of your rights in counterfeit goods.
How does the Counterfeit Act protect you?
The Act prohibits dealing in counterfeit goods by:
- being in possession of or controlling
- counterfeit goods;
- making counterfeit goods;
- selling, hiring, bartering, exchanging or offering counterfeit goods;
- exhibiting or distributing counterfeit goods, for trade purposes, or in any prejudicial way;
- importing or exporting in, out or through SA; or
- disposing of counterfeit goods.
The Act empowers inspectors and police, who have a warrant, to enter premises, stop a vehicle if necessary by force, seize, remove and detain counterfeit goods, collect evidence, search and terminate counterfeit activities. The Commissioner for Customs and Excise and Customs staff have power to seize and detain counterfeit goods imported into the country.
Seized goods are removed to warehouses and initial difficulties of limited space are being overcome, to make this law effective.