Penal Code amendment stricter on counterfeiting


The Estonian Penal Code has been amended to make it a criminal offence to sell counterfeit goods in all cases - even if the seller is a first time offender or the sale involves a small quantity of goods.

The explanatory note accompanying the amendments, which came into force on March 15 2007, states that any act committed for business purposes must be considered a criminal offence.

The provision is in accordance with the IP Criminal Enforcement Directive proposed by the EU Commission. Article 3 of the directive, currently under consideration by the EU Council after it was approved by the EU Parliament last month, obliges member states to view all intentional infringements of an IP right on a commercial scale as a criminal offence.

In addition, the term 'counterfeit goods' will be henceforth understood in Estonia as prescribed in Council Regulation 1383/2003 concerning customs actions against goods suspected of infringing certain IP rights and measures to be taken against goods found to have infringed such rights. Such approach should help to guarantee the consistent application of the term by the police and Customs.

Mari Toomsoo, Käosaar & Co, Tallinn

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