Laredo, Texas - Members of the Import Specialist Enforcement Team at U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Laredo Port of Entry recently targeted and seized handbags that were confusingly similar to Burberry and counterfeit shirts infringing on well-known brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Hollister, and Abercrombie and Fitch for a combined value of more than $70,000 in two separate enforcement actions.
CBP import specialists from the Laredo ISET team targeted a shipment containing sunglasses and ladies handbags for an enforcement examination. During the examination, conducted at the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge, CBP import specialists and officers observed that the handbags appeared to be similar to the Burberry check design trademark, which is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is trademark recorded with CBP. CBP import specialists detained the shipment pending verification of the possible trademark infringement.
CBP determined the handbags to be confusingly similar to the Burberry check design trademark, and on March 3 seized the shipment of 120 handbags. The shipment had a domestic value of $700 and a manufacturer's suggested retail price of nearly $60,000.
ISET members also recently selected an air cargo shipment of wearing apparel for further examination. During the examination, ISET members discovered shirts that appeared to infringe on previously recorded trademarks with CBP, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch. CBP obtained confirmation from the trademark holders that the shirts were counterfeit and on March 2, seized 155 purported Abercrombie and Fitch shirts, 92 Hollister Shirts and two Polo Ralph Lauren shirts. The shirts had a domestic value of $1,700 and a manufacturer's suggested retail price of about $12,000.
"Our ISET team illustrated their dedication to enforcing intellectual property rights laws by seizing these shipments of confusing similar handbags and counterfeit wearing apparel," said Joe Uribe, acting CBP port director, Laredo. "Stopping IPR violations at the border protects the trademark holder from losses which are ultimately borne by the consumer in the form of higher retail prices."
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.