From Florida’s Top Commercial Litigation Attorney
As a retail business entity there are a lot of important decisions you must make, especially when you are the owner and individual in charge of operations. From the type of productsyou sell, and their pricing, to methods by which you acquire these products and more – during these processes, there are a variety of issues that can often arise and it is important to observe the legal guidelines set forth for doing business within your industry. One of the most common legal issues that retail business owners will often face is counterfeiting and the sale of counterfeit goods. While it might not seem to be an issue for larger, multinational chains, as a smaller retail operation, it is in your best interests to find the cheapest possible suppliers for your goods and apparel. However, whether it is done my mistake or with prior knowledge, many retailers will often take on counterfeit goods that are replicas of more expensive, in-demand goods. And if these lookalike products, infringe upon the copyrights of the authentic products, selling of these goods becomes highly illegal and can lead to huge fines and other legal implications. As the top commercial litigation attorney in Florida, Mr. Steven Veinger, Esq. has helped many commercial retailers deal with counterfeiting charges, either proving their innocence or helping them to drastically reduce their penalties. To better understand the legal issues surrounding counterfeit goods, their sale and manufacturing, here is some important information to know.
What is Counterfeiting?
According to Steven Veinger, the top commercial litigation attorney in Florida, counterfeiting is a form of trademark infringement, in which a retailer is charged with manufacturing or selling imitation goods or even services that hold a fake trademark. For instance, if one were to sell a shoe with a fake Nike logo on it, or an imitation Gucci handbag, this is counterfeiting. With these charges comes the understanding that, in some way, there is an attempt to trick the consumer. This is the case, even if you, the business owner, and the customer you are selling to, are both aware that the product is fake, as it can still trick others.
One important thing to understand is that counterfeiting extends to more than just consumer products like shoes or a bag. For instance, if someone uses a fake logo on their website, in example, they place the CNN logo on their blog, this can be taken as a form of counterfeiting as well – as they are posing their news blog as CNN or a CNN affiliate.
Non-Counterfeit Replica Products
According to commercial litigation attorney Steven Veinger, if a productstill imitates an established product, but does not bear a logo or other trademark marking, specific to another brand, it technically does not violate any counterfeiting laws and may be sold. For instance, a pair of Calvin Klein jeans, made in a very similar cut to the originals, but without any logos or markings. While this is technically not an infringing product, and doesn’t violate any laws, whether or not it harms a business can still be left to the interpretation of certain courts – but it is likely okay to sell.
Legal Issues & Punishment
The problem with selling counterfeit items is that it is very easy to be caught, as any business must advertise their goods to be successful, so you are essentially broadcasting your illegal activity. As the top commercial litigation attorney in Florida, Mr. Steven Veinger has worked on both sides of counterfeiting cases, helping to defend those who have been caught counterfeiting and working with the plaintiff company to bring suit to counterfeiters. With this experience he has seen both sides and can assist you and your company no matter what side of the coin you might be on. Depending on the value of the counterfeit goods and the extent of what you have sold, punishments will likely include hefty fines and the possibility of jail or prison sentencing.
For more information on counterfeiting cases and other commercial litigation issues, be sure to contact Mr. Steven Veinger today.