The CBP, IPR, and $1 Million Dollars in Counterfeit Sinks: How Customs Continues to Enforce Trademark Infringement at American Borders

Posted by Glenn A. Ellis on January 25, 2018

Routinely, Customs officers examine imports into the country. The CBP says that it “enforces Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), most visibly by seizing products that infringe IPR such as trademarks, copyrights, and patents.”

Taking IPR seriously, the CBP explains that “the theft of intellectual property and trade in fake goods threaten America’s economic vitality and national security,” adding that, “trade in these illicit goods funds criminal activities and organized crime.”

On January 5th, CBP officers seized over 1,000 sinks in North Dakota after an examination revealed a trademark infringement. The aggregate manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the sinks is nearly $1 million dollars- $944, 512 to be exact.

But why should you care about fake sinks? The CBP says it’s because “importing counterfeit merchandise can damage the U.S. economy and threaten the health and safety of the American people.”

“To protect both private industry and consumers, CBP has made IPR enforcement a priority trade issue,” the organization says, “CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing illegal merchandise at our borders, pushing the border ‘outward’ through audits of suspect importers, cooperating with our international trading partners, and collaborating with industry and governmental agencies to enhance these efforts.”

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For more information on the CBP and IPR, check out the CBP’s website, as well as, stay up to date with us on our twitter and blog posts.

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