How Recordation Can Help Protect Your Intellectual Property Rights
CBP’s e-Recordation Program Allows Trademark and Copyright Owners to Obtain Border Enforcement of Their Intellectual Property Rights
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the authority to detain, seize, forfeit, and ultimately destroy merchandise seeking entry into the United States if it bears an infringing trademark or copyright that has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the U.S. Copyright Office (USCOP), and has subsequently been recorded with CBP. As an intellectual property right (IPR) owner, you can partner with CBP to receive border enforcement of your registered trademarks and copyrights through CBP’s e-Recordation Program. There are several steps an IPR owner can take to ensure their trademarks and copyrights are enforced at all U.S. Ports of Entry.
STEP 1: Read & Review
Review CBP regulations, 19 C.F.R. Part 133, as well as the following publications which explain in more detail how you can work with CBP to protect your IPR:
CBP Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights – An Informed Compliance Publication
How to Work with CBP to Protect Your Intellectual Property
STEP 2: Record
CBP IPR’s e-Recordation program is administered by the IPR Branch within the Regulations and Rulings Directorate, Office of Trade. For instructions and access to the online application visit http://iprr.cbp.gov/
You must have a valid trademark registration published on the Principle Register of the USPTO, www.uspto.gov, in order to record with CBP. The fee for e-Recordation is $190 per International Class of Goods (IC). The recordation will remain in force concurrently with the underlying USPTO registration, if renewed along with the USPTO registration.
You must have a valid copyright registration with the USCOP, www.copyright.gov, or evidence of a pending application for registration, in order to record with CBP. The fee for e-Recordation is $190 per copyright. The recordation will remain in force concurrently with the underlying copyright registration, if renewed with CBP every 20 years.
Recordations can be renewed for another term for the fee of $80 per IC for trademarks, and $80 per copyright.
IPRS Public Search
IPRS is a searchable database containing public versions of CBP recordations. Recordations can be searched by keywords and Boolean operators. http://iprs.cbp.gov
Step 3: Educate CBP
Product ID Guides
Recordation holders can develop a product identification guide to aid CBP in identifying genuine merchandise and distinguishing it from infringing goods. A sample guide is available at https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/ipr-product-id-training-guide.
Training at Ports of Entry
Recordation holders can deliver in-person product identification training to CBP personnel in the field, resulting in heightened identification of infringing goods. https://www.cbp.gov/contact/cbp-hq/office-field-operations-contact-numbers
Recordation holders can deliver live online training to CBP personnel that introduces their brand and describes their IPR. https://www.cbp.gov/trade/priority-issues/ipr/webinar
Centers of Excellence
Recordation holders can partner with the Centers of Excellence and Expertise for additional training and enforcement opportunities. https://www.cbp.gov/trade/centers-excellence-and-expertise-information
Step 4: Update & Review
IPR owners should periodically review the information contained in their recordation and provide updates to CBP, especially any changes to their contact information, by emailing IPRRQuestions@cbp.dhs.gov
Question about e-Recordation (IPRR), IPRS or IPRiS should be directed to IPRRQuestions@cbp.dhs.gov
Questions about IPR border enforcement should be directed to HQIPRBranch@cbp.dhs.gov
Step 5: Report Violations
Submit information regarding suspect shipments or parties importing infringing merchandise to e-Allegations: http://eallegations.cbp.gov
Suspected violations, as well as any questions about CBP operations should be directed to the appropriate Center of Excellence and Expertise. https://www.cbp.gov/trade/centers-excellence-and-expertise-information/cee-directory
Email CEE@cbp.dhs.gov for assistance in determining which Center to contact.
Engage the National IPR Center
Contact the National IPR Coordination Center for additional enforcement opportunities concerning reported violations. https://www.iprcenter.gov