Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Forged works of art have infiltrated the global marketplace at unprecedented levels during the past decade. Artists, museums, dealers, brokers and law enforcement have struggled to stop forgeries using traditional legal theories such as contract breach and fraud. These legal theories, however, have not been entirely successful at stopping the widespread global and online sale and distribution of art forgeries. Likewise, the prevalence of counterfeit merchandise has surged, undermining consumer confidence in the authenticity of luxury goods, pharmaceuticals and other consumer products. While those industries have lobbied successfully for stricter penalties against counterfeiting and have invested substantial resources in enforcement, the art world has rarely used intellectual property laws to aggresssively protect their rights against forgeries. This article, written by an expert in anticounterfeiting litigation and legislation, surveys the existing legal landscape relating to art forgery and discusses ways in which intellectual property laws may be helpful in battling this growing trend.