New York City Council Member Margaret Chin has renewed her crusade to pass legislation that would criminalize the purchase of counterfeit trademark goods. In April 2011, Councilwoman Chin introduced a bill amending New York City’s administrative code to make it Class A misdemeanor to purchase counterfeit goods. Violations of the code would be punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and/or up to one year in jail.
Although it is currently illegal to sell counterfeit trademark goods in New York City, sellers have developed stealthy tactics to evade detection. The new legislation would allow police officers to issue summonses to individuals who are caught buying goods which they know or should know are counterfeit based on the relatively low cost or quality of the goods, or the conditions and location of the sale. As a result, the new law could help to reduce the demand for counterfeit items by targeting consumers who may not be willing to risk criminal prosecution for a knockoff product.