U.S. Customs Service Practice







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         Patent Attorneys ·  Trademark Attorneys

                         Dallas · Texas · USA



    U.S. Customs Service


The U.S. Customs Service is responsible for regulating the import and export of goods  that move across our borders.  Customs collects import duties, and interdicts contraband.  It also prosecutes fraudulent trade practices that violate U.S. trademark and copyright laws.  Customs has the power to detain and seize goods that bear a counterfeit trademark, or goods with a confusingly similar trademark, certain gray-market products and copyright knock-offs.


Registering Trademarks and Copyrights

Registered trademarks and copyrights can be recorded with the U.S. Customs Service to deny entry of counterfeit goods bearing a registered trademark, or unauthorized copies of a copyrighted work. The Customs record identifies the registered trademark, or title of the copyrighted work, the federal registration number, the product description of the registered goods and the parties that are authorized to sell the registered goods in the United States.


Working with Customs

The intellectual property right information (trademark or copyright) is recorded in the Customs Service Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) data base.  Manifest information for goods arriving at ports of entry is compared with recorded information.  Matches are screened and checked for authorization.  When a potential violation is detected, the Service will consult the registered owner’s trademark counsel for confirmation.


Detention and Settlement

Counterfeit goods are detained, impounded and subsequently forfeited unless the registered owner consents to entry after obliteration of the trademark. Goods with a confusingly similar trademark are detained, and the importer is given 30 days either to obliterate or to remove the trademark.  If remedial action is not taken, the counterfeit goods are forfeited.


Our practice before the U.S. Customs Service:

• submitting registered trademarks and copyrights to U.S. Customs Service for recording


• providing information to Customs relating to suspected shipments of

counterfeit goods


• representing the registered owner in connection with confirmation, consent and detention settlement matters


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