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CBP Seizes $500K in Fake Goods

Release Date: 
October 3, 2014

Expensive name brand purses among phony items

HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Houston/Galveston seaport seized over 200 counterfeit handbags and nearly 50 packages of plastic building blocks, Sept. 29, with an estimated Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price of more than $500,000.

This counterfeit Michael Kors purse was amonth the more than 200 handbags seized in Houston.

This counterfeit Michael Kors purse was among the more than 200 handbags seized in Houston.

“Intercepting counterfeit goods protects the trademark holder, the unsuspecting consumer, and strengthens the U.S. economy,” said Houston CBP Area Port Director Dave Fluty. “Import safety and protecting intellectual property rights are priority trade issues.  We will take every opportunity to intercept counterfeit goods entering through this port.”

The shipment, which originated from China, was manifested as bags, plastic toys and jewelry.  However, when CBP officers examined the shipment, cartons of women’s handbags bearing counterfeit Prada, Christian Dior, Michael Kors, and other name brands were discovered.  Also in the shipment were cartons of plastic building blocks bearing the Lego brand.

Nearly  50 boxes of plastic building blocks were seized for violating trademark laws.

Nearly 50 boxes of plastic building blocks were seized for violating trademark laws.

CBP officers provided images of the items to the different trademark holders who each confirmed that the imported handbags and building blocks were counterfeit and confusingly similar to the genuine brand. The import specialists determined the MSRP value of the goods. The seized items, which were enroute to a Houston store, will be destroyed.  Homeland Security Investigations is investigating.

Last year, CBP seized more than $4.7 million in intellectual property rights violations nationwide. Handbags and wallets were the highest valued seized goods with an MSRP estimate of more than $700 million, up from more than $500 million in 2012.

To enforce intellectual property rights, CBP relies on trademark owners registering with the Patent and Trademark Office and by recording the trade name with CBP at e-Recordation. 

Related information about intellectual property rights is available at the IPR center.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017