Even though the “glory days” of Canal Street knockoffs are long gone, criminal defense attorneys who specialize in trademark counterfeit defense can attest to the fact that the market is still flooded with fake sneakers, counterfeit electronics, knockoff designer handbags, and knockoff designer clothing. Law enforcement is constantly on the lookout for offenses that breach intellectual property rules and put consumers at risk, whether it involves fake brake pads, clothing labels, computer peripherals, or pharmaceuticals. Police officers, district attorneys, and the New York State Attorney General all keep a sharp eye out for trademark counterfeiting crimes, even when they involve items like Rolex, Cartier, Bulgari watches, Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent purses and wallets.
Be aware that arrests can result in misdemeanor and felony convictions, incarceration, and additional consequences that will upend your life, regardless of whether you are accused of keeping, selling, or producing trademarked goods—such as sunglasses, shoes, or just about any product to be worn or consumed—without authorization and permission. Don’t be misled. It is important to take prosecutions for violating NY Penal Laws 165.71, 165.72, and 165.73 seriously.
Trademark Counterfeiting: Understanding The Crime
Trademark of New York The major spoke of Third Degree Trademark Counterfeiting, New York Criminal Code 165.71, which is counterfeiting crimes. Police, such as the NYPD in New York City, must have reason to think that you intended to deceive or defraud a third party or that you intended to circumvent a legal prohibition on the sale, resale, offering for sale, or distribution of commodities before they can make an arrest. In order to accomplish this, there must be proof that you produced, disseminated, sold, or promised to sell the counterfeit or trademarked items in question.
The fact that you, the accused possessor, seller, distributor, etc., also knew that the commodity or goods in question were indeed counterfeit is an additional and crucial component of PL 165.71.
The retail value of the counterfeited items distinguishes the class “A” misdemeanor of third-degree trademark infringement from the more severe criminal offenses of second and first-degree infringement. According to New York Penal Code 165.72, second-degree trademark counterfeiting is a class “E” felony when the sum of each item’s value exceeds $1,000. According to New York Penal Code 165.73, if you are accused of a counterfeiting act with a retail value greater than $100,000, you will be charged with First Degree Trademark Counterfeiting, a class “C” felony. The crime of Trademark Counterfeiting in New York is typically the same offense regardless of the degree, save from these retail computations.
Trademark Counterfeiting: Penalties And Punishment
The potential penalty and punishment for a Trademark Counterfeiting conviction in New York State rely on a number of variables, and the sentence might vary within a range for someone without a prior criminal history. When defending you against a trademark counterfeiting arrest and prosecution, one of your criminal defense attorney’s tasks will be to first contest the validity of the search, the foundation for the alleged counterfeits, and the accusation that you were aware of and knowledgeable about the contraband.
Without going into too much detail about these and other factors that could form the basis of your defense against a Trademark Counterfeiting arrest, should your criminal defense attorney be unable to obtain a dismissal, you could be sentenced to up to a year in a county jail for the class “A” misdemeanor of NY PL 165.71. (Rikers Island in New York City). A state jail penalty of up to four years in prison is in your destiny if you are found guilty of the class “E” felony of NY PL 165.72, while fifteen years in prison may be your fate if you are found guilty of NY PL 165.73.
Know that a conviction for Trademark Counterfeiting in New York State, at any level, is more than just a mark on your record, regardless of whether it results in fifteen years in prison or only a little period following your arrest as you await your court date. Both permanent and crippling conditions.
Whether it’s a crime or a misdemeanor, if you’re accused of trademark infringement, act wisely and be aware of the serious consequences. It’s not a violent sexual crime, but when it comes time to fight your case or change your behavior, the last thing you want to do is realize that your current situation is a direct result of your own failure to make the effort to hire the best criminal attorney and mount the strongest defense possible.