CBP Recordations -
Protect your Trademark or Copyright by Recording it with CBP
What is a CBP Recordation?
Several companies falsely think that registering a trademark or copyright with the U.S. Government grants the same protection and remedies as recording those matters with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The methods achieve two different ends. The main purpose one registers a trademark or copyright with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is to furnish the public notice of one’s ownership of the trademark or copyright. Whereas, the objective of recording a trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs is to partner with U.S. Customs to prevent the unauthorized importation of merchandise that bears a recorded trademark or copyright. This is because U.S. Customs works to prevents counterfeit products from entering or exiting the United States, and when one registers a trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs, they are protected in a way that differs dramatically from registering with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Does CBP Take Recordations Seriously?
CBP takes Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement very seriously. Even those shipments that are not destined for the U.S., for instance, those that are merely in transit at a port are no exception. Thus, CBP does not just protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for in-transit merchandise but also protects such rights regardless of where the products are destined.
When a trademark or copyright is recorded with U.S. Customs, infringing merchandise can readily be detected by U.S. Customs at all 328 official ports of entry across the United States. This is because, after a trademark or copyright is registered with U.S. Customs, the trademark or copyright owner’s information is recorded into an electronic database that is easily accessible to over 60,000 U.S. Customs officers in the United States and Customs officers overseas.
U.S. Customs utilizes this information to target suspect shipments to physically examining the merchandise. To ensure a trademark or copyright is properly registered with U.S. Customs, it is vital that one consults with a lawyer at TITA. TITA lawyers are accustomed to the process and familiar with teaching CBP how to look out for violaters to ensure product safety and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) safeguards.
What are the Advantages of Recording a Trademark or Copyright?
The most distinct benefit to registering a trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs is that U.S. Customs will watch and seize infringing merchandise at the 328 official ports of entry so that the trademark or copyright holder doesn’t have to locate and prosecute every unauthorized distributor, retailer, importer, for illegally using its protected trademark or copyright.
Moreover, U.S. Customs has the power to issue monetary fines against anyone who promotes the attempted introduction of the infringing goods into the U.S. that are then of seized and after that forfeited. U.S. Customs may notify the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ask that those parties involved in the illegal activity be criminally prosecuted. The accused can be criminally prosecuted under the Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984. Under this Act, first-time violators of this Act are subject to penalties of up to ten years imprisonment and a $2,000,000 fine, whereas repeat offenders are subject to 20 years imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000,000.
Is it an Easy Process?
Thanks to the ever-growing technology used by the CBP Trademark and copyright recordations can easily be filed online with U.S. Customs’ new Intellectual Property Rights e-Recordation (IPRR) online system. CBP’s IPRR system provides holders of registered trademarks and copyrights to register with the CBP so that the CBP can police the borders for infringing and counterfeit goods. Once the copyright or trademark is recorded, it is entered into an online search system that is called IPRS. From that system, CBP officers can be trained to recognize and prevent counterfeit goods. Before logging on to record a trademark or copyright, a trademark or copyright holder must be extremely proficient with the Customs regulations that can be found in 19 CFR Part 133. The particular questions that will be asked on the application are important to know and comprehend. Thus, one should consult with a lawyer at TITA to protect their legal rights.
What are Grey Market Goods?
“Gray market” goods are those that are foreign-made and are bearing a genuine trademark or trade name that is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from one owned and recorded by a citizen of the United States, or a corporation or association created, or organized within the United States, that are imported without the authorization of the U.S. holder. Thus, it is fitting to attempt to obtain “gray market” security from U.S. Customs.
What is the Benefit to my Company?
If you took the chance to register your trademark or copyright with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, then you must also contemplate taking the additional step to register that trademark or copyright with the CBP. It is greatly advantageous for a company to record its registered trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs since U.S. Customs can be a company’s greatest ally when it comes to battling trademark and copyright enforcement.