June 13, 2012

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Interim Rule: "Disclosure of Information for Certain Intellectual Property Rights Enforced at the Border"

Arnold & Porter Advisory

On April 24, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an Intellectual Property Rights Interim Final Rule (IFR) amending its regulations with respect to the examination of imported counterfeit merchandise and the disclosure of information to intellectual property rights holders. CBP is responsible for stemming the flow of imported counterfeit goods when brand owners have recorded their registered trademarks with CBP. Due to the fact that the quality of counterfeit goods has become increasingly high, it is now more difficult for CBP to determine whether suspected counterfeit goods are actually counterfeit. In addition, there are growing concerns that counterfeit goods pose a serious threat to public health, safety and national security. Accordingly, this IFR, effective April 24, 2012, permits CBP to disclose to an intellectual property rights holder any information appearing on the merchandise or its packaging, including information previously protected from disclosure under the Trade Secrets Act, for purposes of assisting CBP in determining whether imported merchandise is counterfeit.


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