Is it Illegal to Buy Counterfeit Goods?
How to identify if I have a Counterfeit Copy?
Yes! It is Illegal to Buy Counterfeit Goods.
Chances are you've probably seen a counterfeit good at one time or another. Maybe you even inadvertently purchased one, only to find out later that it wasn't the brand name product at an incredible price as advertised. With increased globalization spreading the manufacturing and sale of goods throughout the world and with the appeal of cheaper prices, counterfeiting has become a major industry. This is particularly true in the United States which has one of the largest markets for consumer goods. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported seizing over $1.7 billion in counterfeit goods, and those were just the goods that were discovered.
In the U.S., federal law protecting trademarks makes it illegal to knowingly traffic counterfeit goods, which includes the production, sale and transport of such goods.
The maximum penalty for first-time offenders trafficking in counterfeit goods is 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. For second-time offenders, the penalty is 20 years and a $5 million fine. In addition, if a corporation traffics in counterfeit goods, it can be subject to a fine of $15 million.