LOS ANGELES—Since NFL 2011 season kickoff last September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists assigned to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) cargo operations have seized 304 parcels containing a total 10,710 counterfeit NFL jerseys.
The combined estimated manufacturer's suggested retail price of these seizures is $847,000. CBP officers discovered the infringing parcels at air cargo consignment locations at Los Angeles and Ontario international airports in a string of seizures from Sept. 8, 2011 to Jan. 25, 2012.
"CBP officers and import specialists are highly specialized in product identification, detection and interception of trademark violators. Counterfeit sports apparel typically looks similar to brand name jerseys but are cheaper and of poorer quality," said Todd C. Owen CBP director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.
The theft of intellectual property and the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens America's innovation based economy, the competitiveness of our businesses, the livelihoods of U.S. workers, and, in some cases, national security and the health and safety of our consumers.
The trade in these illegitimate goods is associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises. Nationwide the number of intellectual property rights seizures increased by 24% to 27,792 in fiscal year 2011 from 19,959 in fiscal year 2010.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.