Estados Unidos de América
Observancia de los derechos de propiedad intelectual
Procedimientos penales
15. Article 61 requires that criminal penalties be sufficient to provide a deterrent at least for wilful trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy. Please explain how the penalties provided under the laws of Sweden comply with that obligation.
In a bill (Bill 1993/94:122, pages 55-56) containing proposals for strengthening the measures against intellectual property infringements (which proposals were adopted by the Parliament) the Government stated, inter alia, that "acts that involve infringements of intellectual property rights are to be taken seriously and possibilities must exist to impose severe imprisonment penalties in serious cases". The Government then proposed - and the Parliament accepted - that the maximum penalty be increased from six months to two years for industrial property infringements (formerly, this imprisonment scale had existed only as far as copyright infringements were concerned). This increase of the maximum penalty had also the effect of extending the timeframe for instituting an action in respect of the violation of an intellectual property right and of making the provisions on detention of suspected persons possible. It seems that the Courts more and more tend to adjudicate imprisonment sanction, at least in more flagrant copyright infringement cases. As an example, it can be mentioned that the Court of Appear in Stockholm in a judgement of 26 September 1996, invoked, inter alia, the fact that the piracy activities of a defendant involved several hundreds of copies of children's movies which are commercially interesting for a comparatively long period in an important market and that, consequently, great damage had been caused to the right-owners. Moreover, part of the activities had occurred through different shops, a fact that would make possible a wide distribution which was therefore especially dangerous also because the distribution would occur without the public suspecting that the copies were printed ones. For these reasons the Court found that the penalty should be imprisonment.