Pre-compliance

U.S. Customs – Your Personal Policeman at the Border

Introduction 

Many companies mistakenly believe that registering a trademark or copyright with the U.S. Government provides sufficient protection and remedies. However, there is an additional step that can significantly enhance protection—recording trademarks or copyrights with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Customs).  

This blog explores the distinct goals of these processes and the advantages of recording intellectual property with the U.S. Customs. 

I. Registering with USPTO and Recording with U.S. Customs: Different Goals

  • Registering with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or U.S. Copyright Office gives public notice of ownership. 
  • Recording with U.S. Customs aims to prevent unauthorized importation of merchandise bearing the registered intellectual property. 
  • U.S. Customs serves as a critical partner in halting counterfeit and infringing products from entering or leaving the United States.

II. Benefits of Recording Trademarks or Copyrights with U.S. Customs

Seizure and Monitoring: 

  • U.S. Customs monitors and seizes infringing merchandise at ports of entry, alleviating the burden on trademark or copyright holders. 
  • This proactive approach eliminates the need to individually locate and prosecute every unauthorized importer, distributor, or retailer, safeguarding intellectual […]

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in China

Diaz Trade Law is enthusiastic to announce Bloomberg Law published another one of our articles, “Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in China“! Below is the article reproduced with permission for your reading pleasure. We’d love to hear your feedback! You can read the article here (where you’ll have the ability to access all of the great hyperlinks). Please note you cannot click on the hyperlinks below. We’d love to hear your feedback!             […]

Why Pre-Compliance is a MUST

 

If the thought of monetary penalties, shipment delays, detentions or seizures of merchandise keep you up at night, then this article is for you.  First, it’s quite easy to establish a U.S. company, pick (what you hope is) a terrific customs broker, file Form 5106 with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to request your importer number, pick a surety (there are many, your broker will likely sway you to their favorite) and WALLAH! Right? Wrong. No one sits you down during this process to say, wait, importing can be great, but, this is also a LOT of responsibility. Your company (and SOMETIMES even YOU) have liability and a burden when importing. This article will walk you through YOUR burden as an importer, how CBP can question your imports, and how penalties can ensue and what you should be doing about it, in advance!

Importer’s Burden

The best resource (when you’re ready to read 211 pages) is the “Importing into the U.S.” “A Guide for Commercial Importers” by CBP (last revision in 2006).  The guide discusses the Trade Act of 2002 and the Customs Modernization Act (the “Mod Act”) and the responsibilities that came to fruition for importers as a result. A key feature of the Mod Act is a “relationship between CBP and importers that is characterized by informed compliance”. What this means is now there is a shared responsibility between CBP and the import community, wherein CBP communicates its requirements to the importer, and the importer, […]

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