Worldwide Customs and Regulatory Updates

CBP May Now Share IPR Information with Rights Holders to Detect Counterfeiting

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an interim rule on April 24, 2012 which allows disclosure of alleged counterfeit Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) information to an actual rights holder in order to determine if the mark is valid or counterfeit.

Under the new provisions, which became effective on the date of publication, CBP may provide information to valid rights holders in the form of photographs or a sample of the goods in question, as well as information appearing on the packaging.

The importer will have seven days to submit information demonstrating the merchandise is not counterfeit; failing such proof, CBP will seize the merchandise.
Under the new provisions:

  • A “counterfeit mark” is defined as an unauthorized mark that is identical or indistinguishable from a mark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • CBP may detain alleged counterfeit merchandise up to 30 days.
  • The importer will be advised with 5 days of detention.
  • The importer will have 7 days from notice of detention to provide information establishing that the mark in question is not counterfeit.
  • CBP may disclose information about the shipment and alleged counterfeit mark to the rights holder at any time following examination of the merchandise.
  • The rights holder may be required to provide a surety bond to ensure return of the item(s) to CBP.
  • Merchandise found to be counterfeit will be seized and forfeited by CBP.

If you wish to learn more about this new provision, please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website by clicking HERE.