TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Nia H. Gill and John H. Adler which would amend New Jersey’s counterfeiting laws to make them consistent with those of the International Trademark Association was approved today by the full Senate by a vote of 37 to 1.
“We are sending a strong, clear message: counterfeiting will not be tolerated in New Jersey,” said Senator Gill, D-Essex and Passaic. “We cannot continue believing counterfeit products are harmless. They have infiltrated markets for every consumer good imaginable and they threaten our economy, health, and safety.”
“The stiffer penalties in this bill will discourage people from selling knock-offs of popular items,” said Senator Adler, D-Cherry Hill. “These products not only hurt legitimate businesses, but threaten consumers’ health and safety. Just a few months ago, there was a product recall because counterfeit tubes of toothpaste were being sold that contained a possibly toxic chemical.”
The Senators’ measure, S-392, would amend the state’s definition of “retail value” to reflect the price of the authentic counterpart of the counterfeit item, not the price charged for the replica. The bill would also require that any recovered counterfeit items be destroyed or disposed of. Trademark holders would be permitted to seek restitution for any profits from the counterfeit goods.
Under the bill, possession of 25 or more counterfeit items would be considered possession with the intent to sell, and vendor would be prosecuted.
In the case of toiletries and other items that may be ingested, the bill would upgrade the penalties for those found selling counterfeit products that can cause serious bodily injury or death.
This measure now heads to the Assembly for approval.