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 9: Criminal enforcement and international IP law

Henning Grosse and Ruse Khan

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


International rules on intellectual property (IP) protection have long been silent about the need to provide criminal law sanctions against certain forms of IP infringements in national laws. The two ‘classic’ IP treaties, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 20 March 1883 (Paris Convention) and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 9 September 1886 (Berne Convention), do not contain any explicit obligations to introduce criminal law sanctions against IP infringements. However, together with the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol (Nairobi Treaty), they do contain obligations which contracting parties may choose to implement via their criminal laws: For example, under Art. 6ter of the Paris Convention, Paris Union countries must: In the same vein, Art. 1 of the Nairobi Treaty contains the obligation ‘to refuse or to invalidate the registration as a mark and to prohibit by appropriate measures the use, as a mark or other sign, for commercial purposes, of any sign consisting of or containing the Olympic symbol’.

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