NASCAP through its members provides services for enforcement of IPR rights. NASCAP’s members are carefully chosen for their competence and professionalism. They follow best practises and operate according to the highest possible standards in conformity with NASCAP’s Code of Conduct.
Theft of trade secrets, counterfeiting and piracy are intentional activities which are generally enforced by means of criminal sanctions.
Counterfeiting is a form of deceit. A counterfeit product is something that has been forged, copied or illegally imitated for the purpose of extracting money from credulous or consenting clients to the detriment of the legal manufacturer
Counterfeit goods are sometimes part of a supply chain tied to other illegal activities. While buyers of counterfeit goods might be otherwise law-abiding citizens, sellers sometimes have links to organized crime. It goes without saying that someone selling counterfeit goods is not going to play by the rules—and often that seller is buying from others outside the law in other ways as well. Counterfeit goods have been found in conjunction with extortion, illegal firearms, and illegal drug sales. Many experts believe that counterfeit goods are sold partly to finance terrorist activities.
Civil remedies are not effective because counterfeiters are criminals. They do not respect the law, and they strategically and tactically carry out their criminal activities in ways explicitly designed to avoid the justice system, both civil and criminal.
Civil remedies make sense if the infringes can be identified readily, will comply with injunctions or interdicts, and is able to pay damages and (where applicable) legal costs. Honest trade competitors may infringe IP rights but they do not counterfeit. Counterfeiters tend to fall in a different class. They are not “honest” competitors and civil remedies are, in their case, in the ordinary course of events ineffective.
Criminal law, in general, protects private rights against infringement if there is a public policy element involved. A typical example is theft, including theft of trade secrets, and theft of copyright. Likewise, wider public interests than the mere protection of private rights are at stake in the case of counterfeiting and piracy. These include the protection of –
- local and regional industries,
- foreign investment and investor confidence,
- price levels,
- international trade relations,
- tax and customs income,
- public health and safety, and
- the prevention of corruption and organized crime.