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3/17/2006
11:04 AM
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Bush Signs Bill Targeting Knockoffs

Manufacturers lose an estimated $200 billion a year from counterfeit products, and the new bill closes some loopholes.

The Stop Counterfeiting In Manufactured Goods bill closes loopholes that allowed the shipment of fake products from electronic components and automotive parts to apparel into the United States.

The bill also requires courts to order the destruction of all counterfeit products seized as part of a criminal investigation and convicted counterfeiters to relinquish profits and any equipment used in the operation. Those convicted of counterfeiting must reimburse the legitimate businesses they exploited.

Manufacturers lose an estimated $200 billion a year from counterfeit products, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Mike Wills, Intermec Corp.'s vice president of global services, RFID, and intellectual property, said more manufacturers in consumer goods and retail industries are looking at embedding radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in individual items as an option to stop counterfeiting.

Some industries, such as pharmaceutical, have already begun to deploy RFID technology in their supply chain to stop counterfeiting. Drug manufacturers and distributors have integrated RFID technology to make certain fake drugs don't reach consumers. Projects are being rolled out on request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The White House said in a statement that it broke up a prescription drug counterfeiting network and seized more than $4 million in counterfeit medicine with help from partners overseas.

With help from 16 countries on five continents, it also eliminated more than $100 million in illegal online software, games, movies and music.

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