In late August, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport seized thousands of mobile phones and their accessories because of alleged intellectual property rights violations.
In the inspection, the CBP officials found a shipment of cellular phones and accessories bearing the markings of Underwriters Laboratory, but that appeared to be counterfeit products. Because intellectual property rights law protects companies from having their logos and markings displayed on products that they did not create or endorse, CBP seized the shipment of 30,000 mobile phones and accessory items.
The total value of the shipment was estimated to be over $960,000. By seizing the items, the CBP was able to protect the trademark holder, Underwriters Laboratory, from potentially poorly-made products bearing their name.
The items in the seized shipment came from China and were on their way to Louisiana. The seizure will prevent the counterfeiters from benefiting from the Underwriters Laboratory name on the products. It will also protect American consumers from purchasing low quality products carrying a name they should be able to trust.
While this particular seizure may seem large, it’s just par for the course for the CBP. Every day, the average seizure amount for officers around the globe is $3.4 million in counterfeit or intellectual property rights violation items. While taking in nearly $1 million in one seizure may be high, it is not out of the ordinary.