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What crime occurs when

16-Apr-2008 10:26 AM -- Mill

What crime occurs when one is selling fakes as genuine products ? Of course the seller knows that they are fakes.

17-Apr-2008 6:46 AM -- L Sigman Esq

This scenario is most likely trademark infringement. It could also be copyright and/or patent infringement, or is could be trade seceret misappropriation. It depends on the manner in which the original and genuine items are protected by the rightful owner. These are all matters which give rise to civil liability - i.e. the owner of the genuine items could sue the seller of the fake items. The owner of the genuine items may have rights in common law - which would be addressed in state court, or she may have federal rights, which would be addressed in federal court.

The courts take these actions very seriously and damages in such law suits can be very high for the losing defendant. For example, if a defendant is found guilty of federal copyright infringement, the plaintiff need not demonstrate actual damages/losses, the court can impose the statutory damages of $25,000 per infringing act.

Both trade secret misappropriaton and copyright infringement can also carry criminal penalties as well, in certain situations.

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