Safeguarding Your Brand from International Counterfeiters

Expanding your brand into the global marketplace is ambitious and exciting. However, when your company is conducting business internationally, it is critical to take every precaution to protect your brand. Although international counterfeiting and trademark infringement has become rampant, business owners have a powerful tool available to them to protect their marks: register their trademark through U.S. Customs and Border Protection trademark registration.

Counterfeiting can cost a business thousands, if not millions of dollars, and cause irreparable damage to its reputation and bottom line. If your trademark is likely to be a target for international counterfeiters, registering it with U.S. Customs and Border Protection can provide additional — and necessary — protection. At the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC, we carefully assess our clients’ business goals and offer critical insight concerning implementing strategies to ensure their trademark is shielded from those who could cause it harm.

A Smart Strategy to Protect Your Brand

International counterfeiting is a significant problem — and it does not just apply to luxury items. Any business owner who plans to place their goods in the global stream of commerce without proper protection potentially puts their mark at risk of theft or dilution. With the widespread use of online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, all entrepreneurs should strongly consider filing for trademark registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Some of the most commonly counterfeited items seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection include footwear, watches, electronics, clothing, and pharmaceuticals. However, only a fraction of U.S.-owned brands is registered with the agency. It is important to understand that no business is too large or too small to record a trademark through its e-Recordation program.

Recording a trademark with U.S. Customs and Border Protection comes with considerable benefits, and there is virtually no downside in doing so. But to record your trademark with U.S. Customs, you must first own a federally registered trademark, submit paperwork, and pay a filing fee. Once your mark has been recorded, it is renewed at the same intervals as your USPTO trademark registration.

The trademark attorneys at the Trademark Lawyer Firm work closely with clients to help them develop a thorough strategy to protect the logo, slogan, or design that makes their brand unique. We offer skilled counsel and valuable guidance to business owners and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries. We are committed to assisting each of our clients with structuring a comprehensive plan to safeguard the brand they put so much work and time into creating.

Trademark Registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs trademark recordation is separate from registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Importantly, it helps border agents identify counterfeit products and stop them from coming into the country. Upon recording your mark, it is entered into a database that border agents look to when inspecting shipments to determine whether a product is a counterfeit. If a border agent believes that a product could be a counterfeit, they will hold it and allow you to have an opportunity for inspection.

Trademark owners can also provide U.S. Customs with a product identification guide that can help agents at border entries recognize counterfeit products more easily. Product identification guides list:

  • A product description
  • Product images
  • The location where the products are manufactured
  • The U.S. ports to which the products are imported
  • Any known or alleged counterfeiters
  • A comparison of the genuine products with counterfeits
  • The U.S. ports to which suspected counterfeits are imported
  • List of recorded and registered trademarks

In addition to preparing a product identification guide, those who have recorded their marks with U.S. Customs can also schedule a webinar to train border agents on how to identify their goods and compare them with counterfeits. Significantly, these benefits are not only offered to large companies, but to any small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs concerned with the possibility of counterfeiting.

The process of recording a trademark with U.S. Customs is relatively simple. But it is essential to make sure all information is complete and accurate to avoid any delay in the shipment of your products as a result of being flagged at the border. The attorneys at the Trademark Lawyer Firm assist clients in making sure all required information is submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and all necessary paperwork is prepared with meticulous attention to detail.

Contact an Experienced Trademark Attorney

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recordation is vital for companies that will be selling or manufacturing their goods overseas. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC works with entrepreneurs nationwide to protect their brands at every stage of business development. With more than 6,500 successfully registered trademarks to our name, we are committed to providing our clients with high-quality legal services at reasonable rates. Contact us today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with a knowledgeable trademark attorney.