The Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA) is calling on the federal parliament to toughen up the intellectual property laws to combat counterfeit.
According to the ASGA, retailers are suffering significant economic losses as a result of the importation and sale of counterfeit products.

ASGA executive director Brad Kitschke said reforms are needed as the government is not doing enough to stop counterfeit products at the point of entry or manufacture.

“Australia’s attitude toward counterfeit and our laws are out of step with those of other nations, in particular those in Europe. Our legislative and regulatory regime is open to manipulation and requires tightening.

The best way to deal with counterfeit activity is at the place of manufacture or the point of entry into Australia. We need laws that not only detect counterfeit on import but give brand owners the ability to stop the products making their way into the market,” he said.

““If we stop it before it gets in, then we prevent counterfeit products from entering the market place. There must be greater emphasis on preventing counterfeit at the point of entry and it has to be easier for brand owners to take action to stop counterfeiters.”

The ASGA has written to every federal minister seeking amendments, pointing out there counterfeit activity is not a victimless crime and that it is helping fund other crime groups.

“You might think that buying a fake shirt doesn’t hurt anyone but what you perceive as a rich multinational brand.  But when you buy the fake shirt think about the fact that it has probably come from a group overseas who uses counterfeit activity to fund more serious crimes,” Kitschke said.