Counterfeiting has become an increasingly significant problem in the apparel industry, causing a Vermont senator to introduce a bill targeting websites that sell counterfeited merchandise.
The legislation would provide new authority to the U.S. Department of Justice and individual rights holders to shut down websites that sell counterfeit product. Online counterfeiting has been reported to cause the outdoor industry and other U.S. businesses losses in the billions.
The Outdoor Industry Association issued the following release:
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) last Thursday introduced the Preventing Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property ("PROTECT IP") Act, legislation that would provide new authority to the U.S. Department of Justice and individual rights holders to shut down rogue Internet websites that sell counterfeit products. Senator Leahy was joined by a bipartisan mix of nine additional senate cosponsors.
"Online counterfeiting costs the outdoor industry and other American businesses billions of dollars every year," said OIA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer. "Since the outdoor industry generates more than $289 billion in annual retail sales and services, counterfeiting directly harms and seriously undermines North American leadership in innovative outdoor products."
OIA also joined the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) in sending a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), and to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet, outlining several principles our organizations wanted to see included in similar legislation in the House.
OIA has also established an Internet counterfeit task force that meets on a regular basis to share information, coordinate effective strategies to combat online counterfeits and support OIA members working to protect their brands from online infringement.