Clause 3 - Forfeiture: infringing copies, etc

Copyright, etc. and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 9 January 2002.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Trade and Industry)

This will be the last contribution that I shall make, unless members of the Committee wish to challenge other clauses.

The clause is long and raises a separate set of issues. The reason for the length of the clause is almost entirely legal to achieve compatibility with different bodies of legislation. The clause relates to forfeiture, which is a problem that arises when the courts and authorities must make a decision about how to dispose of goods that come into their possession on a large scale. A typical problem arises when authorities accumulate many counterfeit goods because of a raid on a market stall and the stall holder cannot be prosecuted because he or she disappeared or gave a wrong name. There must be provisions in the law to dictate how to deal with the goods.

Specific legal technicalities are associated with copyright because if one deals with trade mark law, the courts may order that the trade mark label is removed and allow the goods to be simply sold or disposed of. However, that would not be practical if considering counterfeit compact discs. The law must be couched to deal with the problem. Under the clause, the forfeiture provisions will be compatible with trade mark law, when appropriate, and will be brought under the all-embracing framework of the Consumer Protection Act 1987, which deals with the forfeiture of unsafe goods.

The clause is essentially a legal tidying-up operation that provides for the proper disposal of forfeited goods.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 4 and 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.