Table of Contents

Criminal Enforcement of Intellectual Property

Criminal Enforcement of Intellectual Property

A Handbook of Contemporary Research

Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Christophe Geiger

This wide-ranging Research Handbook is the first to offer a stimulating and systematic review of the framework for criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights. If counterfeiting constitutes an ever-growing international phenomenon with major economic and social repercussions, potentially affecting consumer safety and public health, the question of which are the appropriate instruments to enforce IP rights is a complex and sensitive one. Although criminal penalties can constitute strong and effective means of enforcement, serious doubts exist as to whether criminal sanctions are appropriate in every infringement situation. Drawing on legal, economic, historical and judicial perspectives, this book provides a differentiated sector-by-sector approach to the question of enforcement, and draws useful conclusions for future legislative initiatives at European, international and national levels.

Chapter 5: From sweatshops to organized crime: the new face of counterfeiting

Mickaël R. Roudaut

Subjects: law - academic, criminal law and justice, intellectual property law

Extract

From the imitation of Gallo-Roman seals on the neck of supposedly Campania wine amphoras to copies of artwork (piracy), mobile phones, cough syrups, pacemakers, food or cigarettes – 8000 years of history contemplate us. If counterfeiting is as old as the world, it has industrialized, globalized and criminalized in favour of globalization. Counterfeiting, a criminal market still poorly estimated, remains too often considered, like money laundering, as a victimless crime. Nothing is further from the truth. An evolving phenomenon invested in by organized crime (as well as terrorism funding channels), counterfeiting kills. Whether food, alcohol, medicines, car and aircraft spare parts, this criminal market exceeds mere intellectual property rights (IPR) issues to concern safety and public health and beyond, to become a genuine security threat. Thus, the international response appears to be gradually shifting from one concerning IPR to a broader public health approach (Council of Europe Medicrime Convention). Part of a global and comprehensive approach in the fight against the phenomenon requires an awareness of the magnitude of this criminal market, both in its implications and in its consequences. It also calls, on the eve of the ACTA agreement (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), for a more eff ective enforcement of IPRs.

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