Laredo, Texas - The Import Specialist Enforcement Team (ISET) at U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Laredo port of entry recently seized a commercial shipment of counterfeit watches infringing on the Audemars Piguet recorded trademark carrying a retail value of $83 million. This is the second significant seizure involving the same trademark in less than six months.
In the enforcement action, finalized recently, a CBP import specialist at World Trade Bridge selected a shipment of watches arriving via express consignment truck for a secondary examination. In the course of their examination, CBP officers and import specialists discovered possible infringement of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Octagonal Bezel Design trademark, which is a trademark recorded with CBP. After a legal review from CBP Headquarters Intellectual Property Rights Branch and confirmation from Audemars Piguet that the use of their trademark was unauthorized, CBP subsequently determined on Oct. 25 that the 7,800 watches were infringing on the aforementioned Audemars Piguet design trademark and seized them. The total manufacturer's suggested retail price, had the Audemars Piguet design trademark been genuine, was $83 million.
"This seizure of $83 million in counterfeit watches is now the largest in port history and is the second multimillion dollar seizure involving the same Audemars Piguet design trademark in less than six months," said Sidney Aki, CBP port director, Laredo Port of Entry. "As we approach the Christmas holidays, seizures like these help reassure both the trade community and the public that CBP remains committed to ensuring that recorded trademarks are protected and the American consumer is protected from counterfeit merchandise."
CBP's vigilant enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights protects America's businesses against the threat of unfair and illicit competition from foreign companies and prevents goods that may be dangerous to consumers or national security from entering the United States.
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.