Product counterfeiting has grown substantially in recent years, affecting a variety of industries worldwide and costing the global economy billions of dollars annually. Patterson Belknap's Anti-Counterfeiting Practice Team assists clients in addressing the broad range of issues they face in this area. Our attorneys litigate counterfeiting and product diversion cases on behalf of major international corporations, often involving counterfeit medical devices, pharmaceuticals and other consumer, industrial and electronic products where the counterfeit has the potential to cause serious injury or death.
Team attorneys have successfully sued and executed seizure orders globally against hundreds of individuals and businesses that have manufactured and distributed counterfeits. This has resulted in the seizure and destruction of millions of counterfeits and the collection of millions of dollars in settlements and judgments. Their efforts have also secured criminal convictions of many counterfeiters and resulted in their incarceration. To achieve these outcomes, our attorneys work closely with all parties necessary to a successful investigation and resolution, including law enforcement in various jurisdictions, customs authorities, prosecutors, investigators and local regulatory authorities.
On an ongoing basis, our attorneys advise clients on proactive approaches that can be implemented to prevent counterfeiting and, in the event it does occur, to discover the problem as soon as possible. They counsel on integrated risk reduction solutions and best practices for counterfeiting avoidance. This includes advice on methods to secure products and packaging against counterfeiters and on the development of programs to guard and monitor distribution channels.
Our attorneys understand the critical role that the protection of intellectual property plays in the fight against counterfeiters. They work closely with our Intellectual Property Group on key issues involving patents and trademarks to ensure that clients’ brands are appropriately secured.
We were awarded summary or default judgment for our client, a major manufacturer of household products, against 36 defendants who had trafficked in counterfeit condoms. The award included statutory damages totaling $92,280,000, attorneys' fees, and permanent injunctions preventing the defendants from ever again selling counterfeit products. This amount, combined with a previous $8 million award for contempt against three of the defendants, brings the total damages awarded to more than $100 million.
Our Anti-Counterfeiting Practice Team is headed up by Geoffrey Potter, a highly-skilled trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience. Cited as an authority on anti-counterfeiting in more than a hundred articles, his recent quotes have been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Forbes, Bloomberg and Financial Times. He is also a frequent speaker and teacher at anti-counterfeiting conferences.