The problem of counterfeit and pirated products infiltrating traditional and online markets continues at an unabated pace. This impacts our competitiveness on many fronts, and it is critical that the Canadian government take a stance to allow Canadian businesses to fully participate in the global economy.
We welcome with great interest the bill tabled today by the Minister of Industry: An Act to amend the Copyright Act and the Trade-marks Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. We encourage the government to develop an effective solution to address the problems created by lax intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and to play a necessary role in the enforcement of the legislation.
Currently, Canada has no tools to track and report on the instances of counterfeiting that are detected. This new bill answers many of the concerns raised by the business community over the years, such as:
- Granting the power of search and seizure to the CBSA
- Making it a criminal offense to import goods that infringe on trademark or copyright
- Authorizing the CBSA to communicate with brand owners/CIPO/RCMP as necessary
- Authorizing the CBSA to seize, hold or destroy counterfeit goods
- Empowering rights holders to contact CBSA with information about incoming shipments
There is no provision in this bill to create an intellectual property crime task force or other IPR institution. We encourage the government to consider the creation of an interagency entity dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of counterfeit crimes as an effective means of combating intellectual property theft. We will continue to work with the Canadian Intellectual Property Council and our members in reducing intellectual property crimes.
We urge all political parties to support the bill and ensure the speedy passage of this important legislation.