Counterfeiting and Piracy

The terms “counterfeiting” and “piracy” are defined and used in various ways, depending on the country and the context. In general, however, ‘counterfeiting’ typically relates to infringements of trade marks, whereas ‘piracy’ is usually associated with infringements of copyright or related rights. In addition, both terms are normally used in connection with cases of intentional infringements of IP rights, related to commercial purposes of the infringer, or causing significant economic harm to the right holder.

Note 14 of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) provides the following interpretation:

'For the purposes of this Agreement:
a.“counterfeit trade mark goods” shall mean any goods, including packaging, bearing without authorisation a trade mark which is identical to the trade mark validly registered in respect of such goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a trade mark, and which thereby infringes the rights of the owner of the trade mark in question under the law of the country of importation;
b.“pirated copyright goods” shall mean any goods which are copies made without the consent of the right holder or person duly authorised by the right holder in the country of production and which are made directly or indirectly from an article where the making of that copy would have constituted an infringement of a copyright or a related right under the law of the country of importation.’

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