The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that strengthens US anti-counterfeiting laws.

The legislation, dubbed the 'Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act,' closes loopholes and strengthens anti-counterfeiting laws by prohibiting the trafficking in counterfeit labels, patches, stickers, hangtags, or medallions that are unattached to goods.

It also requires the forfeiture of property and assets derived from counterfeiting.

The bill, which was approved by the US Senate last month, now goes to US President George W Bush to be signed into law.

Once enacted, HR 32 should help to curtail the trafficking of pirated goods particularly in the apparel and footwear industry where much of the value of a counterfeit product is attached to the label.
An addition by the Senate, changing the definition of "traffic" to include penalties for the transfer of counterfeit goods, regardless of a value exchange, will further tighten the ability of US law enforcement to prosecute counterfeiters.