831.03 Forging or Counterfeiting Private Labels; Possession of Reproduction Materials

>(1) Whoever, knowingly and willfully, forges or counterfeits, or causes or procures to be forged or counterfeited, upon or in connection with any goods or services, the trademark or service mark of any person, entity, or association, which goods or services are intended for resale, or knowingly possesses tools or other reproduction materials for reproduction of specific forged or counterfeit trademarks or service marks shall be guilty of the crime of counterfeiting. The crime of counterfeiting shall be punishable as follows:

(a) If the goods or services to which the forged or counterfeit trademarks or service marks are attached, affixed, or used in connection with, or to which the offender intended they be attached, affixed, or used in connection with, have a retail sale value of $1,000 or more, the offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b) If the goods or services to which the forged or counterfeit trademarks or service marks are attached, affixed, or used in connection with, or to which the offender intended they be attached, affixed, or used in connection with, have a retail sale value of less than $1,000, the offender commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) When an offender has in the last 5 years been convicted of counterfeiting under this section, or vending counterfeit goods under s. 831.05, and is convicted of counterfeiting goods or services, irrespective of their retail sale value, the offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2) All defenses, affirmative defenses, and limitations on remedies that would be applicable in an action under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1051 et seq., or to an action under s. 495.131 shall be applicable in a prosecution under this section.

(3) The term "forged or counterfeit trademark or service mark" refers to a mark:

(a) That is identical with or an imitation of a mark registered for those goods or services on the principal register in the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the trademark register for the State of Florida or any other state, or protected by the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, 36 U.S.C. s. 380, whether or not the offender knew such mark was so registered or protected; and

(b) The use of which is unauthorized by the owner of the registered mark.

(4)(a) Any goods to which the forged or counterfeit trademarks or service marks are attached or affixed, or any tools or other reproduction materials for the reproduction of any specific forged or counterfeit trademark or service mark, which are produced or possessed in violation of this section, may be seized by any law enforcement officer and shall be destroyed upon the written consent of the offender or by judicial determination that the seized goods, tools, or other reproduction materials have attached or affixed to them a forged or counterfeit trademark or service mark, unless the owner of the registered or protected trademark or service mark which has been forged or counterfeited approves a different disposition. The owner of the registered or protected trademark shall be responsible for the actual costs incurred in the disposition of said forged or counterfeited goods.

(b) Any personal property, including, but not limited to, any item, object, tool, machine, or vehicle of any kind, employed as an instrumentality in the commission of, or in aiding or abetting in the commission of, the crime of counterfeiting, as proscribed by paragraphs (1)(a)-(c), and not otherwise included in paragraph (a), may be seized and is subject to forfeiture pursuant to ss. 932.701-932.704.

History.--s. 1, ch. 3621, 1885; RS 2481; GS 3361; RGS 5209; CGL 7327; s. 961, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 95-300.