Toy Association Applauds House Introduction of SHOP SAFE Act
May 21, 2021 | The Toy Association applauds the introduction of the SHOP SAFE Act 2021 by the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation, which aims to protect consumers by stopping the online sale of harmful counterfeit products, was introduced on May 20 by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Representatives Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Ben Cline (R-VA).
A one-pager on the bill can be found here.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce spending in 2020 grew more than 30 percent over 2019, reaching $791.7 billion. At the same time, the number of high-risk counterfeits on online platforms has risen. The SHOP SAFE Act reduces the availability of harmful counterfeit products online by incentivizing platforms to engage in best practices for vetting sellers and goods, addressing repeat counterfeiter sellers, and ensuring consumers have access to relevant information at the time of purchase.
“Although all toys sold in the U.S. must comply with strict standards and undergo stringent testing to ensure they are safe, bad actors selling unsafe, counterfeit toys and other consumer products continue to infiltrate many online marketplaces at an alarming rate, putting millions of families at risk,” said Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs at The Toy Association. “By establishing trademark liability for online marketplace platforms when a third-party sells a counterfeit product, and incentivizing online platforms to establish best practices, such as vetting sellers to ensure their legitimacy and removing counterfeit listings and sellers, this legislation can help ensure consumers are protected and can shop online in good conscience.”
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet will hold a hearing on Thursday, May 27 to discuss the SHOP SAFE Act and efforts to stem the rising tide of unsafe counterfeit products online.
Additionally, this week Senators Cassidy and Durbin introduced the INFORM Consumers Act as a potential amendment to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (formerly called the Endless Frontier Act). The amendment is identical to the introduced legislation (S.936) and is supported by all six co-sponsors. The Toy Association has been reaching out to key Senate offices to express support for the potential amendment, and it’s critical for Senate offices to hear from as many voices as possible. Toy companies that are interested in sending an email to their Senator expressing support may contact Leigh Moyers, The Toy Association’s senior manager of federal government affairs, for more information.
The Toy Association’s advocacy against counterfeit toys is ongoing. The external affairs team has worked with congressional offices to reintroduce Intellectual Property (IP)-related bills, including the INFORM Consumers Act and the SHOP SAFE Act. These bills incorporate recommendations from The Toy Association’s 2020 IP White Paper, Taking Fake Toys Offline: A 2020 Focus on Proactive Measures to Reduce Counterfeits and Unsafe Toys Sold on Online Marketplaces, which highlights the importance of increased seller vetting and consumer transparency that third-party marketplaces should have in place to protect families from potentially dangerous counterfeits sold online.
The Toy Association is also a member of the Buy Safe America Coalition, which represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates, and law enforcement officials who support efforts at all levels of government to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.
Toy Association members who want to become involved in these advocacy efforts are encouraged to reach out to Leigh Moyers, senior manager of federal government affairs at The Toy Association (email@example.com), for more information.