WASHINGTON (Nov. 11) — Under a unanimous consent order, the Senate passed the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act, six months after the House passed its own version of the legislation.
Supported widely by manufacturers and sellers of tires and auto parts, the bill strengthens existing anti-counterfeiting law by requiring the forfeit and destruction of all machinery and equipment used to make counterfeit products, as well as banning the unauthorized sale of labels, patches or medallions bearing a registered trademark.
The Senate bill contains an amendment, not in the House bill, that exempts parties who unknowingly sell counterfeit products over the Internet from seizure of their computer equipment. The bill now goes to House-Senate conference for resolution, but that process should go smoothly, according to Brian Duggan, director of international affairs for the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.
MEMA estimates that product counterfeiting costs the U.S. auto parts industry alone about $12 billion annually.