Protecting Intellectual Property Rights: A Priority Trade Issue for the United States

December 13, 2010, 12:11 PM

  1. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has designated intellectual property rights enforcement as a Priority Trade Issue (PTI). Counterfeit goods imported into the U.S. pose safety concerns to end-user customers and cause huge economic losses to legitimate U.S. businesses. CBP is committed to seizing counterfeit goods at U.S. borders. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as the largest investigative agency of the Department of Homeland Security, also plays a large role in preventing the import of counterfeit goods. In 2009, CBP and ICE were responsible for 14,841 seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods, the value of which totaled over $260.7 million. Since the beginning of 2010, CBP has seized over $3 million in counterfeit goods at just one port in Savannah, Georgia. To assist CBP and ICE in their efforts to keep counterfeit goods out of the U.S. market, businesses can submit a product identification guide to CBP. This guide should include company information, all brands, marks, copyrights, and patents that the company owns and the corresponding registration and recordation information, detailed product information, manufacturers of genuine goods, distribution channels, and information on known violators. --R. Ellen Coley