Friday, January 31, 2014

$236 Million in Counterfeit Apparel and Footwear Seized by Customs in 2012

In Fiscal Year 2012, the United States Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") seized, at the border, $133 million of wearing apparel and $103 million in footwear that were counterfeit or pirated. Apparel and footwear accounted for 19% of the value of all goods seized for intellectual property infringement.

DHS agencies Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") and Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") protect American consumers from intellectual property theft as well as enforce the rights of intellectual property rights holders by expanding their efforts to seize infringing goods, leading to 691 arrests, 423 indictments and 334 prosecutions. Counterfeit and pirated goods pose a serious threat to America's economic vitality, the health and safety of American consumers, and our critical infrastructure and national security.

According to DHS, in recent years, the internet has fueled explosive growth in the numbers of small packages of counterfeit and pirated goods shipped through express carriers and mail. In FY 2012, DHS reports having heightened efforts against the sources of these small shipments: the websites involved in the trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods. In FY 2012, 697 such sites were taken down by ICE, with CBP handling the forfeitures. The number of IPR seizures remained somewhat consistent from 24,792 in FY 2011 to 22,848 in FY 2012.

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of seized goods increased from $1.11 billion in FY 2011 to $1.26 billion in FY 2012, with an average seizure value of more than $10,450. The report "Intellectual Property Rights Fiscal Year 2012 Seizure Statistics," is available on the CBP website CLICK HERE.

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