A large number of intellectual property owners understand that it is important to register their copyrights and trademarks to make sure that their marks end up with proper protection. Many mark holders, however, fail to understand that it is also important to record their marks with the US Customs and Border Patrol. The reason why this registration is important is that it helps to prevent infringement of goods that are imported into the country.
Increased Control Over Border Security
After recording a mark with the US Customs office, you gain the ability to monitor shipments which includes the ability to exclude merchandise that the office believes is counterfeit. If the office has questions about goods, workers at the Customs office will help to stop infringement. The Customs office acknowledges three levels of infringement in enforcing trademarks including counterfeit marks, copying marks, and restricted goods. The Customs office also has the ability to seize pirated copies of protected workers which includes copies of a registered copyright work.
After seizure of goods, the US Customs office provides information about the seizure of the goods including a description, the quantity, the origin country, and other important details. The mark owners also are provided the opportunity to create additional enforcement security guides to prevent future enforcement of products violations.
Other benefits associated with registering your mark in such a way include the ability of the Customers office to issue fines against anyone who attempts to introduce counterfeit goods into the country, the Custom office’s ability to contact the United States Attorney’s Office to initiate criminal prosecutions, and the Custom Office’s ability to raid production facilities.
The Recording Process
Obtaining a copyright or trademark registration does not result in the mark also being registered with the US Customs Office and border Patrol. The owner of the mark must file an application through the US Custom Office’s recording system to commence the administrative recording process. Recording in this manner is not expensive and quite straightforward. After obtaining a federal registration through the United States Copyright Office or the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a mark owner is able to file an application with the Customs office. Recording a mark with the Customs office is effective on the date that application is approved by the office. These registrations remain in effect with registrations of copyright or trademark through other federal agencies.