U.S. Customs Brand Protection Lawyer
Registering a trademark or copyright is an important first step towards protecting your company’s intellectual property. But registration alone is not sufficient. As many Florida businesses face competition for their products from cheap, knock-off imports, it is critical to also work with federal customs officials to ensure any merchandise that infringes a copyright or trademark does not enter the country legally. An experienced U.S. Customs brand protection lawyer can assist you in this area.
The team at Perkins Law can guide you through the process of recording your intellectual property with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This provides a critical, additional layer of protection against counterfeit goods. For its part, CBP is dedicated to working with legitimate intellectual property owners to protect the U.S. domestic market from unauthorized and illegal imports.
How Does CBP Recordation Work?
CBP has the legal authority to detain, seize, forfeit, and destroy any imports that attempt to enter the United States bearing a trademark or copyright without the owner’s permission. This includes not only merchandise intended for sale in American markets, but also any goods “in transit” between foreign ports. For example, CBP can lawfully seize and destroy goods in a ship that are in transit from Asia to South America but make a stopover in Miami.
If you are a trademark or copyright holder, you can “record” your intellectual property with CBP. This will make it possible for agents to identify and take action against any infringing goods detected at a U.S. point of entry. CBP currently runs a program known as e-Recordation to manage these registrations.
Here are a few things that you need to known about e-Recordation:
- You must first register your intellectual property with the appropriate federal agency. For copyrights, this is the U.S. Copyright Office. For trademarks, it is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Once you have completed the necessary registration process, you can file an online e-Recordation application with CBP. Your application must include your trademark or copyright registration number, the name and business address of the owner, the names and addresses of anyone authorized to use the intellectual property, and the identities of any parent or subsidiary companies with such authority.
- You can prepare and upload “product identification guides” to the e-Recordation system to assist agents in determining whether a specific shipment contains products that infringe your copyrights and/or trademarks.
- If you suspect someone has shipped infringing goods to the United States, you can also file a report with CBP’s e-Allegations system.
Contact Perkins Law Today
While CBP’s systems provide important tools for protecting a company’s brand, they do require a substantial amount of work on the part of the intellectual property owner. A qualified U.S. Customs brand protection lawyer can handle most of this paperwork on your behalf. So if you are concerned about protecting your business from potential foreign counterfeiting, contact Perkins Law today to schedule a consultation with a member of our Florida brand protection team.