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November 12th, 2013
Proposed Bill Would Help Brand Owners Keep Trademark and Copyright Infringing Goods Out of the U.S.
Brand owners and intellectual property rights advocates are reaching out to Congress to voice their support for S. 662, the "Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act of 2013." The bill, if passed, would strengthen enforcement of intellectual property laws at U.S. borders. The bill provides for increased resources for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and directs resources to customs facilitation and trade enforcement.
Among other improvements to current CBP and ICE operations, the bill provides for coordinated measures among government agencies to identify and stop repeated intellectual property infringing importers. Significantly, the bill also allows for direct contact between customs officials and trademark and copyright owners when potentially infringing goods arrive at ports of entry. Customs officials would be able to immediately contact the trademark or copyright owner and share images, samples and information about suspect products. The IP owner would have the opportunity to advise customs and assist in the determination of whether merchandise is counterfeit. It is widely believed that increased direct cooperation between brand owners and border officials will help reduce the importation of counterfeit goods. As brand owners have advised Congress, they are in the best position to quickly and accurately determine if incoming goods are fakes. Representatives from major brands have testified before Congress on how they can assist in counterfeit determinations. Recently, over 40 major brands banded together to submit a joint letter of support for the bill.
If you have any questions about the proposed bill (you may read it here) or about measures to protect against counterfeits or other intellectual property infringements, contact Rachel Kronman at (212) 705 4855 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Mary Sotis at (212) 705 4878 or email@example.com, or any other member of the Trademark and Brand Management Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
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