The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN) welcomes the new Combating Counterfeit Products Act proposed by the Government of Canada. This legislation has been a long-time coming after many years of advocacy on the issue.
“I am pleased that this legislation is moving forward—marking its introduction during ‘Fraud Awareness Month’,” said Wayne Edwards, Chair, CACN. “Counterfeiting has grown into a criminal activity that supports everything from organized crime to terrorism. That was mainly because in the current landscape, the risk of getting caught is low while the profit margin is extremely high. With this new legislation, the risk assessment will begin to change.”
The Combating Counterfeit Products Act is recognition that Intellectual Property theft is a very widespread problem that is growing and that partnerships between law enforcement, industry, government and retail are required.
“Our testimony to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology in the House of Commons on October 30, 2012 regarding the Intellectual Property regime in Canada was well received,” said Edwards. “We were successful in educating parliamentary members on the perils of counterfeit products, and by extension, the necessity of electrical safety.”
A decade ago, most fake goods available in Canada were t-shirts, novelty items and similar wares sold at flea markets or by itinerant street vendors. Today, counterfeit and pirated products available in Canada include children’s toys (that do not meet Canadian safety standards); electrical products, such as power bars, extension cords and seasonal decorative lighting, often bearing fraudulent CSA or UL certification labels; automobile and aircraft parts; pharmaceutical products; food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages; software, CDs and DVDs; and luxury goods of all kinds. Moreover, such products, many of which pose serious threats to consumer health and safety, are now routinely found in up-scale shopping malls and reputable retail chains. There is also growing evidence linking counterfeiting and piracy to organized crime and terrorism.
“While the economic impact on individuals, companies and governments in Canada has not been quantified, there has been an explosion in the volume and variety of counterfeit and pirated goods on the Canadian market. We have some concerns about maintaining a level playing field, however, this legislation is a step in the right direction,” Edwards concluded.
The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN) is a coalition of individuals, companies, firms and associations that have united in the fight against product counterfeiting and copyright piracy in Canada and internationally. The originating members of CACN include broad-based organizations, such as the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Electro-Federation Canada, the Canadian Entertainment Software Association and the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association; companies from a range of industries; and law firms representing a host of intellectual property (IP) rights holders – Canadian and foreign – with significant businesses in Canada.