The Trademark Counterfeiting is one of the most sensitive areas in which it is called upon to intervene the private investigator, due to the major impact that counterfeiting activity can have on the economic and social fabric of a country, in particular Italy, which thanks the excellence of its products can boast the label “made in Italy”.
Counterfeit brands: is it and how you configure
According to the definition offered by the Directorate General for Combating Counterfeiting – Italian Patent and Trademark Office counterfeiting “occurs because when brands or trademarks already registered and attributed to certain products are affixed by third parties and unauthorized on new products, or merely similar, or even other than those lawfully marketed by the proprietor of the trade mark in question. As a result, the consumer is misled about the real origin of the products. “
It follows that the infringement of a mark to be configured as a crime in the Penal Code governed by Articles 473 and 474. In particular, Article 473 provides that “anyone who, aware of the existence of the industrial property that counterfeits or alters trademarks or brands, domestic or foreign, industrial products, or anyone who, without being in the counterfeiting or alteration, use of such trademarks or counterfeited or altered signs, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine of € 2,500 to € 25,000 “; while Article 474 regulates the crime of trade of products and goods with forged trademark “Except for the cases in the offenses pursuant to Article 473, anyone who brings in the State, in order to earn profits,
In Italy the phenomenon mainly affects companies operating in key sectors of Made in Italy as the food industry, fashion, clothing, luxury goods, which are the most exposed to attempts of alteration by third parties. According the Hypericum ratio (Intellectual property-Elaborated Report of the Investigation on Counterfaiting) released by the Ministry of Economic Development, in the years 2008 to 2014 the product categories that have the highest number of counterfeit products seized were “clothing” and “Accessories clothing “, while as regards specifically the made in Italy, in the analyzed period, there were over 6,000 seizures, always in the fields” clothes “,” clothing accessories “and” electronics.”