Selling counterfeit goods is illegal, and may carry heavy monetary fines. Nevertheless, there are methods to limit your liability.
What Does My Accuser Need to Win?
For an accuser to win his case, he merely needs to prove that you have infringed on his intellectual property rights (i.e. you copied his goods). For merchandise, this is fairly simple to do, as they are good that are simple to duplicate.
What Is My Liability?
Under the Lanham Act, you will be liable for the accuser’s lost profits and possibly, treble damages as punishment.
What If I Get a Cease and Desist Letter?
Once you receive a cease and desist letter, you have two choices – to stop counterfeiting or to prove that you were not copying the accuser. Typically, people hire attorneys to draft a response and to assess the possible routes that they can take.
What If I Formed a Corporation?
Forming a corporation to counterfeit goods may reduce some of your liability. It may get rid of your personal liability. However, the corporation will not protect you from any loans that you personally guaranteed, back taxes, and any negligent acts.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Possibly. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will help you reduce your liability. This is extremely pertinent if you do decide to continue to produce the product after you have received a cease and desist letter.