Counterfeiting and piracy

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Certain breaches - piracy and forgery - of the Copyright Act 1968 and the Trade Marks Act 1995 constitute criminal offences.

Criminal liability

Under the Trade Marks Act 1995, it is an offence to:

  • falsify a registered trade mark
  • falsely apply a registered trade mark
  • alter or remove a trade mark knowing it is a registered trade mark
  • make a die or equipment that can help in falsifying or removing a trade mark
  • sell, possess, distribute or import a good, knowing that the trade mark has been falsified or removed

The Copyright Act 1968 similarly provides for criminal sanctions. Under this Act it is an offence to:

  • knowingly import, possess, sell, distribute or commercially deal with an infringing copy
  • offer for sale infringing copies of computer programs
  • transmit a computer program to enable it to be copied when received

The Copyright Act 1968 provides for individuals to be fined up to $50,000 and for corporations to be fined up to $250 000. The possible term of imprisonment is up to five years.

The penalties under the Trade Marks Act 1995 are sentences up to two years and fines of up to $55,000.

The Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994 provides for individuals to be fined up to $55,000 and for corporations to be fined up to $275,000. The possible term of imprisonment is six months.

Last Updated: 23/11/2013

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