New York Legislature Passes Counterfeit Goods Donation Bill
New York State Senators Joseph A. Griffo (R) and Martin J. Golden (R) introduced a bill empowering courts to order seized counterfeit products to be donated to a not-for-profit corporation rather than destroyed. The bill passed in the New York State Legislature in June.
If the court determines that the counterfeit products should be donated, then notice must be given to the lawful mark owner of the counterfeit products. The trademark owner has 30 days to object, in writing, to the donation. Failure to respond within that time frame constitutes consent to having the products donated.
The bill states that counterfeit products may only be donated to a “not-for-profit corporation that has an established history of providing goods and services to indigent individuals.” The judge determines if an organization qualifies to receive counterfeit products.
The selected organization must have the products’ tags removed or have the products “marked, altered, imprinted, or indelibly stamped so as to prevent their resale or any confusion with the actual products of the lawful mark owner.” The organization may not sell the counterfeit products. Similarly, any person or organization in possession of these counterfeit products may not sell these products. The only type of counterfeit product that currently qualifies for donation is clothing.