Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:
How CBP Protects Your Intellectual Property Rights at the Border / ¿Derechos de propiedad intelectual en la frontera?
As an intellectual property right (IPR) owner, you have the right to work with CBP to prevent the unauthorized importation of infringing goods into the U.S. Registered trademarks, trade names, and copyrights can all be recorded with the with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP helps trademark and copyright owners prevent the unauthorized importation of infringing products. CBP has the ability to detain, seize, and issue penalties to those who import goods which violate intellectual property rights.
This article will discuss:
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. […]
Many companies mistakenly believe that registering a trademark or copyright with the U.S. Government provides sufficient protection and remedies, and, therefore, do not take the extra step to record those trademarks or copyrights with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Customs).
The processes achieve two completely different goals.
Registering a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office gives public notice of one’s ownership of the trademark or copyright. On the other hand, the purpose of recording a trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs is to partner with the agency in preventing the unauthorized importation of merchandise that bears a recorded trademark or copyright. U.S. Customs prevents counterfeit and otherwise infringing products from entering or exiting the United States for registered trademark or copyright holders who have recorded their trademarks or copyrights with Customs. […]
Does CBP protecft and police your IPR at the border? If not, hear why you are missing out and how Hermes benfited by recording its IP with CBP.
With the concentration of US imports from China increasing in parallel with intellectual property rights seizures, companies rely heavily on the government, specifically on US Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") to help protect and enforce their intellectual property rights ("IPR"). IPR seizure statistics are published yearly. From 2010-2011 alone, IPR seizures increase by 24%, and have nearly doubled since 2009.
Invalidated Trademarks may Still Cause Your Products to be Seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but There’s a Solution.
Among its other duties, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") has the daunting task and responsibility to search and seize products that are counterfeit or otherwise infringe the intellectual property rights of original goods manufacturers. This is accomplished through CBP's Intellectual Property Rights Recordation System.
Every few weeks, I get a call from an international flight attendant who wants my help to deal with a huge fine issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The typical scenario is that the nice international flight attendant is traveling overseas, and purchases some counterfeit, luxury brand handbags, wallets, watches or jewelry for friends, family, or co-workers back in the States. Flight crews are rarely stopped and searched by U.S. Customs upon return to the United States, so the risk is low. Unfortunately, some do get stopped, and the Customs officer seizes the counterfeit items. That is just the beginning of the nightmare.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is one of the leading Federal agencies responsible for stopping counterfeit products from entering the United States. These counterfeit products vary from sunglasses to handbags to pharmaceuticals to footwear. But U.S. Customs' press releases almost always use an unrealistic, inflated number when describing the value of the seized merchandise.
My friends tell me one of their favorite activities in China is to buy counterfeit items such as Gucci handbags or Mont Blanc pens. They do worry about U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Customs) officers looking through their luggage upon arrival at an airport in the United States, seizing the counterfeit items, and fining them. The truth is that U.S. Customs allows the importation of counterfeit merchandise, but closely follow the rules as I explain them to you now.