Last year, on a typical day the U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) seized about $3.8 million worth of products because of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Violations. CBP reported that the total number of IPR seizures has increased nine (9) percent since last year, from 28,865 in 2015 to 31,560 in 2016. With the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) exceeding $1.3 trillion.

What is Causing the Increase in Seizures?

Recordation of Trademark And Copyright With The CBP

In addition to registration of IPR with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO for trademarks), or the U.S. Copyright Office (for copyrights), owners can record said trademark or copyright with CBP. This additional step grants CBP additional enforcement power in both seizing counterfeit and piratical goods as well as thereafter issuing penalties for the MSRP value of the goods. In previous blog posts, we explained benefits of taking the extra step of recording your registered trademark or copyright with CBP, and CBP’s additional enforcement powers as a result of the recordations.

Government Enforcement

More Than the Product.

  • IPR violations are not limited to the product itself, if any component of the product violates existing IPR then the whole product will be seized. A seizure of over 200 hoverboards at PortMiami was highlighted in this Miami Herald article. In this case, the LG batteries were allegedly counterfeit. For more on hoverboards read our previous article. If your goods are seized, contact Diaz Trade Lawto learn how we can assist you, as we have successfully helped numerous clients with CBP seizure cases.

How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic?

Know your product!


Dealing with a Seizure Case?

If your goods are seized, you will have to deal with a complicated seizure process (discussed more here). The link has a picture of the process – doesn’t it look intense? That’s because it is. You need an expert that understands it and will fight for you correctly. Depending on the case and your specific facts your attorney may recommend filing a Petition or a claim and cost bond. Filing a Petition gives you a few bites of the apple (if you lose, you can file a Supplemental Petition, and thereafter, still file a claim and cost bond). Every case is different and must be evaluated on its own merit.
At Diaz Trade Law we have a TOP 10 TIPS WHEN IMPORTING cheat sheet you can download for FREE. The Top 10 Tips discusses the importance of IPR compliance, and knowing who you are doing business with, as well as additional Customs requirements importers must be aware of. Diaz Trade Law can assist if you are dealing with a seizure by CBP – or if you want to avoid them with a robust pre-compliance program. Contact us today at