Federal Bill Aims to Fight Rogue Internet Sites Selling Counterfeit Goods

Topics: Counterfeit drugs and Internet pharmacy

Legislation aimed to fight rogue Web sites dedicated to the sale of infringing or counterfeit goods, including rogue Internet drug outlets, has been introduced to the US Senate. The “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011,” or PROTECT IP Act, builds on the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act that was debated and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last year. The new bill incorporates provisions developed in response to concerns raised by stakeholders last year. “The PROTECT IP Act narrows the definition of a rogue website, while ensuring that law enforcement can get at the “worst-of-the-worst” websites dedicated to selling infringing goods,” as reported in a press release issued by the bill’s sponsors. The bill’s provisions include “Authorization for both the Attorney General and rights holders to bring actions against online infringers operating an internet site or domain where the site is ‘dedicated to infringing activities,’ but with remedies limited to eliminating the financial viability of the site, not blocking access.” Senators sponsoring the bill noted that the bill would help protect Americans from rogue Internet drug outlets selling counterfeit drugs that threaten the health and safety of consumers. The full text of the bill can be found by visiting the Library of Congress THOMAS Web site, checking the "Bill Number" box, and typing in “S 968” in the “Search Bill Summary and Status” search box.