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The Combating Counterfeit Products Act: Amendments to the Copyright Act and the Trade-marks Act

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Intellectual Property Bulletin

The Combating Counterfeit Products Act[1] (hereinafter the “Act”) received Royal Assent on December 9, 2014. While some of its provisions have already entered into force, the remaining provisions will come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

The Act is intended to strengthen the protection of trademark and copyright holders’ rights in order to curtail trade of counterfeit goods.


  • The Act amends the Copyright Act and the Trade-marks Act to add new civil remedies in cases of manufacturing, selling, distributing, importing, exporting, or possessing counterfeit goods for commercial purposes.
  • The Act introduces new criminal offences under the Trade-marks Act for manufacturing, selling, importing, exporting, or possessing counterfeit goods, labels, or packaging. While certain criteria must be met, it is important to note that the Act provides for fines of up to one million dollars and imprisonment terms of up to five years!
  • The Criminal Code has also been amended to include these offences, which will have the effect of enabling the interception of private communications.
  • To facilitate implementation of the new provisions, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is granted new powers to prevent counterfeit products from entering Canada, such as permitting border officers to conduct searches and to seize counterfeit goods.
  • Trademark and copyright owners may submit a "request for assistance" to CBSA, enabling them to register their trademark and copyright so that counterfeit goods bearing the trademark or copyright can be blocked at the Canadian border. This procedure came into force on January 1, 2015. 
    • To submit a request for assistance, simply fill out the application form[2] with information regarding the rights owner’s identity and the copyright or trademark in question. Please note that you may be liable for the storage, handling, and destruction of any seized good. This may results in significant costs.

We will keep you informed of any new developments regarding these new measures. Feel free to contact us for further information!

[1]   Bill C-8, Combating Counterfeit Products Act, 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, 2014 (passed in the House of Commons on December 9, 2014).

[2]   The form is available online at BSF738 - Request for Assistance (Government of Canada). The duly completed form can be sent to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) by email.


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