U.S. Customs – Your Personal Policeman at the Border

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 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.

U.S. Customs officials may detect infringing merchandise at the time of entry into the United States. When you record trademarks or copyrights with Customs, the information is entered into an electronic database accessible to U.S. Customs officers around the world. U.S. Customs uses this information to target suspect shipments for the purpose of physically examining merchandise which ultimately prevents the importation or exportation of infringing goods.

Advantages to Recording a Trademark or Copyright with Customs

The first and most obvious advantage to recording a trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs is that the agency will monitor and seize infringing merchandise at the ports of entry. Because U.S. […]

Large Seizure by CBP Highlights High Margins of Counterfeiting, and Necessity of Recordation

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.

By |2021-11-09T15:08:58-05:00November 4, 2013|Best Practices, Counterfeits, Import, Seizures, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)|Comments Off on Large Seizure by CBP Highlights High Margins of Counterfeiting, and Necessity of Recordation

Florida Companies Convicted and Sentenced

In another example of the government's continuing use of the criminal justice system to enforce international trade laws, three Florida companies and their management were recently convicted and sentenced for importing smuggled toys from China containing lead and containing counterfeit trademarks.

As U.S. Imports from China Intensify so does CBP Enforcement

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.

By |2021-11-10T14:39:06-05:00September 18, 2012|Best Practices, China, China Trade War, Counterfeits, International Trade, IPR, Trademarks and Logos, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)|Comments Off on As U.S. Imports from China Intensify so does CBP Enforcement

Unhappy Holidays for Some International Flight Attendants Courtesy of U.S. Customs

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.

By |2010-11-27T11:32:40-05:00November 27, 2010|Counterfeits|1 Comment

U.S. Customs Inflates Seizure Statistics

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.

By |2010-08-10T07:11:59-04:00August 10, 2010|Counterfeits|2 Comments

Yes, You May Legally Import Counterfeit Merchandise into the United States

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.

By |2021-11-10T15:16:19-05:00January 24, 2010|Counterfeits, Import|13 Comments
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