Combating Counterfeit Goods

March 06, 2021

Ottawa Journal (March 11 – March 15, 2021)

Our Government has remained committed to protecting Canadians, their families, and their communities. We recently took another significant step in this direction by introducing legislation to combat counterfeit goods. The proposed legislation not only protects Canadian consumers from the potential health and safety risks often associated with these goods, but also protects manufacturers and retailers from the negative economic impacts these goods pose.

In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) seized more than $38 million worth of counterfeit products, which is a five-fold increase since 2005. Such figures are concerning for all Canadians, as these types of products negatively impact our economy, undermine innovation, threaten jobs, and potentially expose Canadian consumers and their families to unsafe products, due to their poor quality. Furthermore, profits from the sale of these products may be used to support organized crime groups.

On March 01, 2013, the Honourable Christian Parades, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Vic Toes, Minister of Public Safety, introduced the Combating Counterfeit Products Act, to reduce the trade of counterfeit products sold to Canadian consumers and businesses. This will be done by providing new enforcement tools to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the RCMP, to protect against counterfeiting activities, both at the border and domestically. Specifically, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act will:

  • · give border officers the authority to detain suspected shipments and contact the rights holders;
  • · allow Canadian businesses to file a “request for assistance” with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), in turn, enabling border officers to share information with rights holders regarding suspect shipments;
  • · provide new criminal offences for the commercial possession, manufacture or trafficking of trademark counterfeit goods;
  • · provide legitimate owners with new tools to protect their rights and take civil action against infringers;
  • · create new offences for trademark counterfeiting; and
  • · provide better tools to investigate commercial counterfeiting.

The proposed legislation also responds to enduring concerns held by domestic stakeholders for Canada to take steps to meet international standards. Many of Canada’s key trading partners and other G8 countries have taken steps to strengthen their own intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement regimes. Our Government recognizes that action is required by Canada now to strengthen its own IPR enforcement regime to protect our country.

The introduction of the Combating Counterfeit Products Act is yet another important step taken by our Government to protect and to stand up for Canadian consumers, their families, Canadian business, and the Canadian economy.