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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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PC 350 – Making or Selling Counterfeit Goods in California

By Spodek Law Group | February 13, 2023

California Penal Code Section 350: Counterfeit Trademarks and Knock-Off Products

Counterfeit products with famous logos are a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, the fake products industry is more than a petty crime. Penal Code 350 PC aims to stop those who manufacture, sell, or intend to sell counterfeit trademarks. In other words, the law punishes those who make “knock-off” versions of branded products or fake items with brand names.

The offense is usually a misdemeanor but can be a felony if the quantity of counterfeit goods is more than 1,000 units or their value exceeds $950.


Here are a few common scenarios that violate PC 350:

Affixing famous logos on cheap purses and selling them at a higher price.
Manufacturing sunglasses and labeling them with brand names.
Storing counterfeit items in a container with the intent to sell them at a flea market.


Challenging a criminal charge under Penal Code 350 requires a legal strategy from a criminal defense lawyer. Here are a few common defenses:

The defendant did not know that an item was a knock-off.
The defendant only possessed a counterfeit good and did not intend to sell it.
Law enforcement conducted an unlawful search and seizure.


Depending on the case’s circumstances, a prosecutor can charge a violation of California Penal Code Section 350 as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant may face custody in county jail for up to one year.

If charged as a felony, the offense can lead to a state prison term of up to three years.

What does California law define as “making or selling counterfeit goods”?

Counterfeit goods are items that bear a fake or unauthorized trademark. To be convicted under Penal Code 350, the defendant must have intended to deceive or defraud someone by manufacturing or selling counterfeit products.

Yes, several legal strategies can be used to defend against PC 350 charges, including:

No Knowledge

The defendant had no knowledge that the product was counterfeit.

Mere Possession

The defendant only possessed a counterfeit good and did not intend to sell it.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The law enforcement officer conducted an unlawful search and seizure that violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights.

What are the penalties?

The severity of the penalty depends on whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor conviction can lead to custody in county jail for up to one year, while a felony conviction can lead to a state prison term of up to three years.

Yes, several related offenses are similar to Penal Code 350:

Forged or Counterfeit Driver’s License – PC 470a

California Penal Code Section 470a criminalizes the production and distribution of fake or forged driver’s licenses.

Receiving Stolen Property – PC 496

Receiving Stolen Property is illegal under Penal Code Section 496. This offense applies to anyone who knowingly purchases or receives stolen goods.

Theft by False Pretenses – PC 532

Penal Code Section 532 criminalizes obtaining property through false promises or representations. This law applies to situations where a defendant intentionally deceives someone to obtain their property.

Unveiling California Penal Code 350: Understanding Trademark Infringement and Counterfeit Goods

Exploring the Lucrative Market of Counterfeit Goods in Los Angeles

The mere mention of luxury goods and famous brand names can send a thrill down the spine of any fashion enthusiast. However, with the increasing demand for such products comes an alarming surge of counterfeit goods in the market. These items, although resembling the real thing, are often cheap imitations manufactured overseas and sold in the United States, infringing registered trademarks.

The scope of these counterfeit goods is vast, ranging from purses, handbags, wallets, sunglasses, clothing, among others. The products bear the logo or emblem of popular brands, making them alluring to many, especially in the fashion-forward city of Los Angeles. As a result, a massive underground market for these counterfeit products thrives in the city.

How California Penal Code 350 Operates Against Counterfeit Goods

California Penal Code 350 defines the crime of manufacturing or selling counterfeit marks as “anyone who willfully manufactures, intentionally sells, or knowingly possesses for sale any counterfeit mark registered with the Secretary of State or registered on the Principal Register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”

In many instances, large companies hire private investigators to crack down on individuals advertising counterfeit goods on online platforms such as Craigslist and social media. These investigators will make undercover purchases and then report the activity to the police, leading to arrests.

One common example of a Penal Code 350 offense is when someone sells inexpensive sunglasses at a flea market but attaches a famous brand logo to the sunglasses to sell them at a higher price. In such a case, the seller could be prosecuted for manufacturing and selling counterfeit marks.

Elements of a Penal Code 350 Offense

For a prosecutor to obtain a conviction for PC 350 manufacturing, selling, or possession for sale of counterfeit goods, they will have to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Knowing possession of counterfeit goods
  • The counterfeit goods had a seal registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark office
  • Intent to sell the counterfeit goods, or sold or manufactured them intentionally

It’s important to note that merely possessing counterfeit goods is not unlawful. To be convicted under Penal Code 350, one must have possessed the goods with the intention to sell them knowingly. In simpler terms, knowingly possessing counterfeit goods means that the person knew or had a reason to believe that the items were counterfeit.

In Conclusion

Counterfeit goods have taken the market by storm, and California Penal Code 350 offers a comprehensive guideline on how to curb this illicit trade. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, our team of California criminal defense lawyers can provide you with expert legal representation to ensure your rights are protected.

Penalties for Counterfeit Goods: Understanding PC 350

Manufacturing or selling counterfeit goods in California

Counterfeit goods are a major problem in California, and lawmakers have implemented strict penalties to deter these illegal activities. If you are convicted of manufacturing or selling counterfeit goods under Penal Code 350 (PC 350), the punishment will depend on the amount and value of the goods involved.

Misdemeanor or Felony Crime?

PC 350 is classified as a misdemeanor if the number of counterfeit goods is less than 1,000 items and the total value is less than $950. However, if the number of counterfeit goods is more than 1,000 items, or the total value is greater than $950, then PC 350 is a California “wobbler,” meaning that the prosecutor has the discretion to file the case as either a misdemeanor or felony crime.

Penalties for Misdemeanor and Felony Convictions

If convicted of a misdemeanor under PC 350, you could face up to one year in a county jail, a fine of up to $10,000 for individuals, a fine of up to $200,000 for a business, and misdemeanor summary probation.

If convicted of a felony for manufacturing, selling, or possessing counterfeit goods, the penalties are much more severe. You could face 16 months, two or three years in a county jail, a fine of up to $500,000 for individuals, a fine of up to $1,000,000 for a business, and formal felony probation.

It is worth noting that if you are convicted of PC 350, the court will normally order asset forfeiture of all counterfeit marks, machines used to manufacture or assemble them, and vehicles that were used to transport them. If you have a prior conviction for PC 350, you will face a more severe penalty.

Several other California offenses are related to PC 350, including petty theft (Penal Code 484(a)), grand theft (Penal Code 487), forgery (Penal Code 470), and theft of trade secrets (Penal Code 499(c)).

Defending Against PC 350 Counterfeit Good Charges

If you have been accused of PC 350 making or selling counterfeit goods, it is critical to have a strong legal defense. Our criminal defense lawyers can use a wide range of strategies to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

Common Defense Strategies

Every case is unique, so our first step is to closely examine all the facts and circumstances to develop a game plan for a favorable outcome. The most common defenses we use include:

Mistake of fact: In some cases, you may have not known you were in possession of counterfeit goods.
Authentic goods or lack of seal: We can argue that the goods the prosecutor is claiming to be counterfeit are actually genuine, or that it can’t be proven beyond a doubt that the goods are actually counterfeit.
Illegal search or police misconduct: We can argue that the police committed an illegal search and seizure that violated your Fourth Amendment rights or that police obtained incriminating statements that violated your Miranda rights.
If you were accused of making or selling counterfeit goods under PC 350, contact our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers to review the details of your case and explore your options.

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