Brazilian senate approves anti-counterfeiting bill

Brazil

The Brazilian Senate has approved in a plenary session the amendments proposed by Senator Demonstenes Torres to Bill 00011/2001, which will amend Industrial Property Law 9279/96. The bill will (i) increase the penalties for industrial property (IP) rights infringements and unfair competition violations, and (ii) allow the seizure and destruction of infringing goods and equipment used in their manufacture.

The bill mirrors Law 10.695/03 on copyright violation - enacted on July 1 - that increases the penalties for copyright infringement and provides for changes in the section of the Code of Criminal Procedure relating to copyright violation. Following the amendments proposed by Senator Torres, the main changes brought in by Bill 00011/2001 are as follows:

  • The penalties for all crimes related to IP and unfair competition, including trademark violations, will consist of a fine, and a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years imprisonment.

  • The bill clarifies that the police authorities will be able to (i) request from the courts orders for the seizure and destruction of goods and equipment relating to an infringement, and (ii) conduct the investigations under their own initiative.

  • The possibility to seize and destroy infringing goods will be extended to all types of IP right violations and not only trademark infringement.

  • The destruction of infringing goods will be allowed at any time during the criminal process and not only after a final decision has been issued, provided that certain conditions are met and samples are secured to serve as evidence.

The bill will return to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to receive final approval before the end of the year.

For a discussion of other aspects of the fight against counterfeiting in Brazil, see Brazil intensifies its efforts against counterfeiting.

Rodrigo Borges Carneiro, Dannemann Siemsen Bigler & Ipanema Moreira, Rio de Janeiro

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