May 28, 2009

U.S. and Illinois Chambers Commend Passage of State Anti-Counterfeiting Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in commending the Illinois Senate’s unanimous passage of SB 1631, an anti-counterfeiting bill that would strengthen enforcement efforts and criminal penalties in the state.

 “As the home of Caterpillar, Motorola, and Underwriters Laboratories, Illinois’ economy relies on the innovation that criminal counterfeiters prey upon,” said Rob Calia, director of domestic programs at the U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center. “We commend Senator Silverstein and Representative Lang’s leadership in working on this legislation, which will help protect consumers and legitimate businesses in Illinois.  We now encourage Governor Quinn to sign this bill into law.”

SB 1631, which is based on model legislation put forth by the U.S. Chamber, codifies the definition of a counterfeit mark to be in line with federal law.  It includes increased penalties for repeat offenders and criminals trafficking illicit goods that could cause bodily injury or death. The legislation, which passed both the Illinois House and the Senate unanimously, is a collaborative effort between Senate Majority Whip Ira Silverstein, House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, the U.S. Chamber, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), and the International Trademark Association (INTA).

“Counterfeiting and piracy are global epidemics which cost the U.S. economy billions annually and have led to the loss of thousands of jobs,” Calia said.  “Affecting every American community, counterfeiting and piracy endanger public health and safety.  Among the most commonly counterfeited and pirated products are fake prescription drugs, defective medical devices, faulty electrical appliances, batteries, machine tools, and pirated software and consumer products, such as apparel and personal hygiene products.”

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion IP as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges. 

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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