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Law Against Selling Fake Products in India

Selling fake products isn’t just a myth, it happens all the time, especially in India. But did you know there are actual laws in place against selling fake products in India? Yes, if caught red-handed, you can literally face huge fines and even jail time. Let’s have a look at what these laws are and how the Indian government is making sure that the selling of fake products can be kept at a bare minimum with the implementation of these laws. Alright, here we go.

 Selling Fake Products

What Are The Specific Laws Against Selling Fake Products In India?

To combat counterfeit goods, India has a strong legal foundation. But, did you know that India actually must have these laws in place because we are part of an international treaty called TRIPS, which stands for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights? And, as a member of this agreement, India has to have rules against copyright theft and trademark infringement. And here are some key laws that you should know of:

  • The Customs Act of 1962: Lets customs officials nab counterfeit goods at the borders.
  • The Trade Marks Act of 1999: Deals with fake trademarks.
  • The Copyright Act of 1957: Protects against copyright theft.
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940: Prevents the sale of fake or harmful medicines.
  • The Indian Penal Code of 1860: Has provisions to punish cheating, which includes selling counterfeit products.

Stopping Fakes at the Border

Did you know that it is actually the customs workers in India who are on the front lines, preventing the import of counterfeit goods? The Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007, say that customs can take goods that they think are fakes. And yes, someone who owns a trademark can let customs know when things with their mark are brought into the country. You can check these items out and destroy them if they are fake. Customs can also act on their own assumptions, but it’s easier if the owner of the trademark is involved.

Are There Criminal Charges for Selling Fakes?

In India, it is a 100% illegal to sell fake goods or products. Did you already know that? Well, there are parts of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 that make it illegal to use fake logos. Sells can go to jail for six months to three years and pay fines of ₹50,000 to ₹200,000 if caught red-handed. It’s even worse for repeat abusers. The Copyright Act of 1957 says that people who break copyright can go to jail for up to three years and be fined. Selling things with a fake mark is also against the law in India. If you do this, you could go to jail for up to a year, pay a fine, or do both. The Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940 says that people who sell fake medicines can go to jail for life and have to pay big fines.

Legal Action Against Fake Products

To combat counterfeit goods, in addition to criminal charges, there are other civil options. For example, the Commercial Courts Act of 2015 makes it possible to handle intellectual property issues quickly. However, courts have the authority to halt the sale of counterfeit goods right away under the Code of Civil Procedure from all the way back to 1908. Also, they can give money for losses caused by fakes, that’s the best bit. To seize counterfeit goods from alleged places, courts may select local commissioners. In India, courts have given large amounts of money to companies whose rights were violated in well-known cases.

Online Battle Against Fakes

See, it was actually the e-commerce book that brought this whole counterfeiting thing to light and made it more common. But, the Information Technology Act of 2000 and the Intermediaries Guidelines Rules of 2011 tell online sites what they can and can’t do. Online stores must make sure that the goods they offer are real. They must take these items off the shelves if they receive complaints about counterfeit goods. Also, courts have said that websites can be held responsible if they help sell fake goods. Online sellers must give correct details about their goods according to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020. And for sure, consumers can ask the e-commerce site for compensation if they are hurt by counterfeit goods sold online.


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