U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 215 counterfeit luxury watches last month at Los Angeles International Airport, including high-quality Rolex, Cartier, Omega and Louis Vuitton fakes. The watches, which arrived from China as air cargo early last month, were listed by the exporter to have a declared value of $173 and a weight of 68 pounds. Customs officers inspected and seized the cargo, which has a retail value of $1.25 million (if the goods were authentic). Per CBP regulations, holders of registered trademarks and copyrights may record their IP with CBP to assist its officers in confiscating infringing goods as their enter the country.
According to Todd C. Owen, director of the L.A. field operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection: "This seizure of these trade-marked watches is testament to our officers' vigilance in protecting the intellectual property rights of manufacturers and retailers. It is just another example of the caliber of the CBP officers in performing their day-to-day duties." Some notable and recent CBP seizures include: 20,000 fake Christian Louboutin shoes, $14M worth of Hermes Birkin bags, and millions of dollars of fake Louis Vuitton and other designer handbags. If you are a copyright or trademark owner and you are experiencing a rise in counterfeits, you may record your intellectual property rights with the CBP for less than $200.