Gene Mack, Licensed Customs Broker
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110 E. Wilshire Avenue
Suite G11
Fullerton, CA 92832
714-447-0371
Fax: 714-447-0289
E-Mail Los Angeles

U.S. Customs Regulates Trademarks, Trade Names and Copyrights on Imports

Trademarks and Trade Names. Articles bearing counterfeit trademarks are subject to seizure and forfeiture. A counterfeit trademark is defined as a spurious trademark that is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a registered trademark. Marks that copy or simulate a registered trademark that has been recorded with Customs are subject to detention and possible seizure and forfeiture. The importation of "parallel" or "gray market" goods is restricted where the registered trademark has been recorded with Customs and gray-market protection has been afforded. In such instances, gray-market merchandise is subject to detention and possible seizure and forfeiture. The U.S. Customs Service also affords similar protection against unauthorized shipments bearing trade names that are recorded with Customs pursuant to regulations.

A personal exemption for merchandise bearing an infringing mark is provided for articles accompanying any person arriving in the United States when such articles are for his or her personal use and not for sale. Only one infringing item of each type bearing a registered trademark is permitted. An individual may take advantage of this exemption only once within a 30-day period (19 U.S.C. 1526 (d); 19 CFR 148.55).

Copyrights. Articles imported into the United States that are piratical of a registered copyright are subject to seizure and forfeiture.

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