The U.S. government has taken a number of steps to help stop counterfeit goods from entering the United States, including maintaining the website www.stopfakes.gov, a one-stop source for information on protecting your intellectual property from counterfeit imports. Stopfakes.gov is a partnership among a number of agencies including the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The website has resources for businesses, including country-specific information about stopping fakes, and resources for reporting counterfeiting activities to federal law enforcement.
- Record your intellectual property rights with USCBP at http://www.stopfakes.gov/business-tools/us-customs-and-border-protection-e-recordation-tool. The website allows the submission of an application for online registration of federally registered trademarks and copyrights with the USCBP. This will typically include submitting descriptions and photographs of your goods, along with samples, or summaries of the content, appearance, and look of your products, such that USCBP will be able to recognize potential fakes. The application is $190 per trademark per class of goods, or copyright, with a periodic $80 renewal fee. (Currently, USCBP only provides for the recordation of trademarks and copyrights, not patents.) As soon as you have filed the application, USCBP will be authorized to detain, seize, notify, and destroy counterfeit versions of goods bearing your trademark, or copyrighted materials.
- Authorize a reliable employee, agent, or attorney to serve as the point of communications for the USCBP. This individual will be the primary point of contact with the USCBP, and should have the skill and availability to definitively identify the counterfeit goods, in person, if necessary. This agent will receive all notices from USCBP, and should be able to respond quickly, investigate the seized goods, and notify the agency with certainty about the legitimacy of the goods.
Attorney Anna M. Vradenburgh counsels and represents clients facing trademark, copyright, patent and other intellectual property issues, providing expert advice regarding intellectual property protection, exploitation and rights enforcement.
Ms. Vradenburgh can be contacted at :
The Eclipse Group
6345 Balboa Blvd, Suite 325,
Encino, California 91316