Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–902. Trademark counterfeiting.

(a) A person commits the offense of counterfeiting if such person willfully manufactures, advertises, distributes, offers for sale, sells, or possesses with intent to sell or distribute any items, or services bearing or identified by a counterfeit mark. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a person having possession, custody, or control of more than 15 items bearing a counterfeit mark possesses said items with the intent to sell or distribute.

(b) A person convicted of counterfeiting shall be subject to the following penalties:

(1) For the first conviction, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, by a fine not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or by imprisonment for not more than 180 days, or both;

(2) For the second conviction, or if convicted under this section of an offense involving more than 100 but fewer than 1,000 items, or involving items with a total retail value greater than $1,000 but less than $10,000, by a fine not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or by imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both; and

(3) For the third or subsequent conviction, or if convicted under this section of an offense involving the manufacture or production of items bearing counterfeit marks involving 1,000 or more items, or involving items with a total retail value of $10,000 or greater, by a fine not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both.

(c) For the purposes of this chapter, the quantity or retail value of items or services shall include the aggregate quantity or retail value of all items bearing, or services identified by, every counterfeit mark the defendant manufactures, advertises, distributes, offers for sale, sells, or possesses.

(d) The fines provided in subsection (b) of this section shall be no less than twice the retail value of the items bearing, or services identified by, a counterfeit mark, unless extenuating circumstances are shown by the defendant.

(e) Any items bearing a counterfeit mark and all personal property, including, but not limited to, any items, objects, tools, machines, equipment, instrumentalities, or vehicles of any kind, employed or used in connection with a violation of this chapter shall be seized by any law enforcement officer, including any designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, in accordance with the procedures established by § 48-905.02.

(1) All seized personal property shall be subject to forfeiture pursuant to the standards and procedures set forth in D.C. Law 20-278.

(2) Upon the request of the owner of the intellectual property, all seized items bearing a counterfeit mark shall be released to the intellectual property owner for destruction or disposition.

(3) If the owner of the intellectual property does not request release of seized items bearing a counterfeit mark, such items shall be destroyed unless the owner of the intellectual property consents to another disposition.

(f) Any state or federal certificate of registration of any intellectual property shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

(g) The remedies provided for herein shall be cumulative to the other civil and criminal remedies provided by law.


(June 3, 1997, D.C. Law 11-271, § 3, 43 DCR 4585; June 12, 1999, D.C. Law 12-284, § 3, 46 DCR 1328; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, §§ 111(b), 207, 60 DCR 2064; June 16, 2015, D.C. Law 20-278, § 304, 62 DCR 1920.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-752.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-801.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317, in (b), substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not exceeding $1,000” in (b)(1), for “not exceeding $3,000” in (b)(2), and for “not exceeding $10,000” in (b)(3); and substituted “twice” for “3 times” in (d).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-278 substituted “shall be subject to forfeiture pursuant to the standards and procedures set forth in D.C. Law 20-278” in (e)(1).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization and Street Solicitation for Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-428, August 6, 1998, 45 DCR 5884).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-506, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 45 8139), and § 3 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-13, February 8, 1999, 46 DCR 2333).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 111(b) and 207 of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Temporary Legislation

Section 3 of D.C. Law 12-282 inserted “including any designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department” in the introductory language of (e).

Section 13(b) of D.C. Law 12-282 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.

D.C. Law 20-278, referred to in (e)(1), enacted Chapter 3 of Title 41 (§ 41-301 et seq.), made amendments to the criminal offenses in §§ 48-901.02 and 48-905.02, and made conforming amendments to §§ 7-2507.06a, 8-905, 22-902, 22-1705, 22-2723, 32-1343, 48-905.03, and 50-1501.04.