Customs Counterfeit Seizure of Tablet Computers

As part of our ongoing efforts to analyze news in light of the customs laws and keep importers informed of the rights and obligations, we provide the below about a customs counterfeit seizure (original here) for alleged fake tablet computers with illegal counterfeit marks.

Many fail to grasp the importance of customs seizing counterfeit merchandise. In the picture below which is from the original customs news release had the caption “A tablet computer with counterfeit marks for SD.” Well, I guess… “Tarjeta SD” does translate to “SD Card” but I think the seizure for SD violative marks may have rested on more than just this word appearing inside the operating system. Or it may not have. Anyway, on to the story, with our further analysis below:

LAREDO, Texas – The Import Specialist Enforcement Team [“ISET”]  at U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo Port of Entry recently seized a commercial shipment of counterfeit electronic tablets valued at $1.1 million for allegedly infringing on the Amazon, Google, Micro SD and SD registered and Customs Counterfeit Seizurerecorded U.S. trademarks.

In the recently finalized enforcement action, a CBP import specialist at World Trade Bridge selected a shipment of polymer lithium operated screens, electronic tablets, for a secondary examination. During the examination, CBP import specialists observed that the electronic tablets bore the Amazon, Google, Micro SD and SD trademarks, all of which are trademark recorded with CBP. A legal review by CBP Headquarters Intellectual Property Rights Branch indicated the imported tablets bore potentially counterfeit marks. A license administrator for SD confirmed that the use of their trademark was unauthorized. CBP’s ISET determined on August 14 that the shipment of 11,540 electronic tablets lacked legal authorization from SD-3C LLC, Google Inc., and Amazon Technologies Inc., and that the tablets were counterfeit and subject to seizure. CBP subsequently seized the tablets, which carried a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, had the trademarks been genuine, of $1.1 million.

“This is a significant seizure of tablets found to be infringing on three separate trademarks recorded with CBP,” said Joseph Misenhelter, CBP port director, Laredo Port of Entry. “Seizures like these ensure that valuable intellectual property is protected from harm from would-be knockoff products and help restore the integrity of America’s economy.”

Like we have explained previously, this importer stands to face a hefty penalty — around $1 million — for this customs counterfeit seizure. We can help you if you are facing penalties from customs for importing counterfeit trademarked merchandise. Great Lakes Customs Law has been very successful in getting these kinds of penalties reduced and, sometimes, even eliminated entirely (some history of our success is HERE).

Call our office at (734) 855-4999 to speak to a customs lawyer, or CONTACT US HERE. We are able to assist petitions for customs penalties and seizures around the country, including Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and many other places. Consult a customs lawyer who is well acquainted with the laws enforced by the customs service and who can judge the legality of the transaction, by even getting a prospective ruling from customs in advance.

Please read these customs counterfeit seizure articles: