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Counterfeit Goods Act, 1997

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To introduce measures aimed against the trade in counterfeit goods so as to further protect owners of trade marks, copyright and certain marks under the Merchandise Marks Act, 1941, against the unlawful application, to goods, of the subject matter of their respective intellectual property rights and against the release of goods of that nature (called “counterfeit goods”) into the channels of commerce; for that purpose—

to prohibit certain acts in relation to counterfeit goods as well as the possession of counterfeit goods in certain circumstances;

to create offences in that regard and prescribe penalties in relation thereto;

to confer, in certain circumstances, upon inspectors and certain members of the South African Police Service the power, upon having obtained a warrant, or upon being otherwise authorised by or in terms of this Act to enter premises and there to search for, and, if found, to seize and remove counterfeit goods or suspected counterfeit goods for detention pending the finalisation of civil or criminal proceedings to be instituted or any other disposal thereof authorised by or in terms of the Act;

to provide that the Commissioner for Customs and Excise and his or her staff, upon having granted an application to that end by the owner of an intellectual property right will have the power to seize and detain counterfeit goods or suspected counterfeit goods imported into or entering the Republic during a particular period and calculated to infringe that intellectual property right;

and to provide for incidental matters.


Last update: October 2001

Copyright: This Act reproduced under Government Printers Copyright Authority 10154 dated 20 March 1996

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Latest Developments:


The Counterfeit Goods Act, 1997 (Act No. 37 of 1997) has been added to the website by Government Gazette 18324, Notice No, 1284, dated 1 October 1997.


The Counterfeit Goods Act, 1997 (Act No. 37 of 1997) has been amended by Counterfeit Goods Amendment Act, 2001, Government Gazette 22791, Notice No. 1077, dated 30 October 2001.