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. […]