The Sentencing Council has launched a consultation (external link, opens in a new tab) on new guidelines for sentencing individuals and organisations for the unauthorised use of a trade mark.
The Council is seeking views from judges, magistrates and others with an interest in this area. The consultation will run to Wednesday, 30 September 2020.
The two separate guidelines apply to the single offence of using a trade mark without the owner’s consent, which can include possessing or selling counterfeit goods, or counterfeiting or possessing the means of counterfeiting goods, with a view to making a gain or causing a loss.
The guidelines, Organisations: Unauthorised use of a trade mark and Individuals: Unauthorised use of a trade mark, will apply to all courts across England and Wales. The latter will replace the current guideline published in 2008, which is used in magistrates’ courts and applies to individuals only.
The proposed guidelines will provide a clear structure for courts when sentencing this offence, which can bring financial and reputational loss to companies and can put purchasers at risk from substandard goods. The Council is seeking views on the draft guidelines from judges, magistrates and others with an interest in this area.