On February 15, a report (SOU 2018:6) was published by the Committee on Certain Aggravated Intellectual Property Infringements. According to the Committee the current penalty scales are not proportional to the severity of the most aggravated cases of intellectual property violation. Amendments of the Swedish Copyright Act and Trademark Act are therefore suggested.

The Committee wants to divide the intellectual property violations into two severity levels, where the grosser level, “gross copyright violation” and “gross trademark violation”, shall be assigned a separate penalty scale with imprisonment of at least six months and a maximum of six years. Moreover, it is proposed which circumstances that should be taken into certain account when assessing if it is an aggravated violation. Violations of the normal degree shall impose fines or imprisonment of a maximum of two years.

Furthermore, the Committee suggests imposing new preconditions for public prosecution, by enabling prosecutors to prosecute irrespective of a plaintiff’s prior accusation and, concerning trademark infringements, an extended opportunity to prosecute when it is deemed necessary to be invoked from a public point of view.

Finally, in order to strengthen the work of crime prevention in cases of infringement, the Committee suggests that it should be possible to seize all sorts of property that may be forfeited under the Copyright Act and the Trademark Act. This means not only objects can be seized, but also for instance domain names that are being used as tools for certain infringements, see with the Supreme Court ruling concerning the seizure of the domain name The Pirate Bay.

The Committee proposes that these amendments shall enter into force on July 1, 2019.

If any questions please contact Aliona Saalo or Hanna Thorngren.

Article authored by Cecilia Arestad