Monday, October 20, 2008

Counterfeiters can get life in jail under new US Act

US President George W Bush has signed a bill under which counterfeiters can be sentenced to life imprisonment if their crime causes the death of an individual.

The passing of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007 (PRO IP) strengthens the US court’s power to punish those convicted of counterfeiting; a measure big pharma has been calling for.

By increasing its maximum penalty the US has brought its punishment more closely into line with China, which sentenced a man to life in prison for causing 14 deaths by using a fake ingredient in human immunoglobulin.

The sentence for inflicting serious bodily harm as a result of counterfeit products has also been increased and can now result in up to 20 years in jail. Both sentences can also carry a fine.

In addition to increasing the punishments for trafficking counterfeit goods the new legislation also ramps up US preventative powers.

link to full article

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