Proposals for sentencing guidelines for unauthorised use of a trade mark published

The Sentencing Council has launched a consultation on new guidelines for sentencing offenders for using a trade mark without the owner’s consent. The new guideline will apply to both individuals and organisations in England and Wales.

The new guideline will replace the current guideline published in 2008, which is used in magistrates’ courts and applies to individuals only. The Council is seeking views on the draft guidelines from judges, magistrates and others with an interest in this area.

The unauthorised use of a trade mark offence 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 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.