CBP Announces Intellectual Property Rights Interim Final Rule

The following text has been excerpted from a press release issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on April 24th, 2012 entitled U.S. Customs and Border Protection Announces IPR Interim Final Rule.

April 27, 2012 | U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced the publication of an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Interim Final Rule (IFR) to amend regulations regarding the importation of merchandise bearing recorded trademarks or trade names. The IFR took effect when it was published in the Federal Register on April 24th, 2012.

Amended to assist CBP in determining whether imported merchandise bears counterfeit markings, the IFR allows CBP to inform an IPR holder of information appearing on merchandise or its retail packaging that may be protected by the Trade Secrets Act.

The information will include – but is not limited to – serial numbers, universal product codes, and stock-keeping unit numbers on the imported merchandise and its retail packaging, whether in alphanumeric or other formats.

This amendment also establishes a procedure to protect importers, by providing an opportunity for the importer to supply proof that the suspect merchandise is authentic before any information or sample is sent to the IPR holder.

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.