NEW YORK—“Gucci, Prada, Calvin Klein!” It’s the common call of street vendors peddling counterfeit wares. It is against the law for vendors to sell counterfeit trademark items, but buyers are not penalized.
Councilwoman Margaret Chin hopes to hit the illegal trade where it hurts—the demand. She proposed new legislation on Tuesday to make the purchase of counterfeit trademark goods a Class A misdemeanor. It would come with a maximum penalty of $1,000 and/or one year in jail.
Knockoffs fill the streets of Chinatown, especially along Canal Street. Chin’s district would certainly see the most change as a result of such legislation.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg recognizes the importance of safeguarding trademarks, but he isn’t sure the legislation would be practical.
“It would be another requirement for police to go around, and there’s just a limited number of things we can do. How practical it is I don’t really know, but we’ll look at what the proposal is,” said Bloomberg.