19 CFR 133.21 - Articles suspected of bearing counterfeit marks.

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§ 133.21 Articles suspected of bearing counterfeit marks.
(a) Counterfeit mark defined. A “counterfeit mark” is a spurious mark that is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a mark registered on the Principal Register of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
(b) Detention. CBP may detain any article of domestic or foreign manufacture imported into the United States that bears a mark suspected of being a counterfeit version of a mark that is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is recorded with CBP pursuant to subpart A of this part. The detention will be for a period of up to thirty days from the date on which the merchandise is presented for examination. The 30-day time period may be extended for up to an additional thirty days for good cause shown by the importer. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1499, if after the detention period and any authorized extensions the article is not released the article will be deemed excluded for the purposes of 19 U.S.C. 1514(a)(4).
(1) Notice to importer of detention and possible disclosure. Within five days (excluding weekends and holidays) from the date of a decision to detain, CBP will notify the importer in writing of the detention. The notice will inform the importer that a disclosure of information concerning the detained merchandise may be made to the owner of the mark to assist CBP in determining whether any marks are counterfeit, unless the importer presents information within seven days of the notification (excluding weekends and holidays) establishing to CBP's satisfaction that the detained merchandise does not bear a counterfeit mark. CBP may disclose information appearing on the merchandise and/or its retail packaging, images (including photographs) of the merchandise and/or its retail packaging in its condition as presented for examination, or a sample of the merchandise and/or its retail packaging in its condition as presented for examination. The release (disclosure) of a sample is subject to the bond and return requirements of paragraph (c) of this section. Where the importer does not timely provide information or the information provided is insufficient for CBP to determine that the merchandise does not bear a counterfeit mark, CBP may proceed with the disclosure to the owner of the mark, and will so notify the importer. Disclosure under this section may include any serial numbers, dates of manufacture, lot codes, batch numbers, universal product codes, or other identifying marks appearing on the merchandise or its retail packaging, in alphanumeric or other formats.
(2) Notice to owner of the mark and disclosure of information. From the time merchandise is presented for examination until the time a notice of detention is issued, CBP may disclose to the owner of the mark any of the following information in order to obtain assistance in determining whether an imported article bears a counterfeit mark. Once a notice of detention is issued, CBP will disclose to the owner of the mark the following information, if available, within thirty days (excluding weekends and holidays) from the date of detention:
(i) The date of importation;
(ii) The port of entry;
(iii) The description of the merchandise from the entry;
(iv) The quantity involved; and
(v) The country of origin of the merchandise.
(3) Redacted images and samples made available to the owner of the mark. Notwithstanding the notice and seven-day response procedure of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, CBP may, at any time after presentation of the merchandise for examination, provide to the owner of the mark images or a sample of the detained merchandise or its retail packaging, provided that identifying information has been removed, obliterated, or otherwise obscured. Identifying information includes, but is not limited to, serial numbers, dates of manufacture, lot codes, batch numbers, universal product codes, the name or address of the manufacturer, exporter, or importer of the merchandise, or any mark that could reveal the name or address of the manufacturer, exporter, or importer of the merchandise, in alphanumeric or other formats. CBP will release to the owner of the mark a sample under this paragraph when the owner furnishes CBP a bond in the form and amount specified by the port director, conditioned to hold the United States, its officers and employees, and the importer or owner of the imported article harmless from any loss or damage to the sample resulting from the furnishing of a sample by CBP to the owner of the mark. CBP may demand the return of the sample at any time. The owner of the mark must return the sample to CBP upon demand or at the conclusion of any examination, testing, or similar procedure performed on the sample. In the event that the sample is damaged, destroyed, or lost while in the possession of the owner of the mark, the owner must, in lieu of return of the sample, certify to CBP that: “The sample described as [insert description] and provided pursuant to 19 CFR 133.21(b)(3) was (damaged/destroyed/lost) during examination, testing, or other use.”
(c) Unredacted samples made available to the owner of the mark prior to seizure. A sample of the imported merchandise may be released prior to seizure to the owner of the mark in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section. CBP will release to the owner of the mark a sample under this paragraph when the owner furnishes CBP a bond in the form and amount specified by the port director, conditioned to hold the United States, its officers and employees, and the importer or owner of the imported article harmless from any loss or damage to the sample resulting from the furnishing of a sample by CBP to the owner of the mark. CBP may demand the return of the sample at any time. The owner of the mark must return the sample to CBP upon demand or at the conclusion of any examination, testing, or similar procedure performed on the sample. In the event that the sample is damaged, destroyed, or lost while in the possession of the owner of the mark, the owner must, in lieu of return of the sample, certify to CBP that: “The sample described as [insert description] and provided pursuant to 19 CFR 133.21(c) was (damaged/destroyed/lost) during examination, testing, or other use.”
(d) Seizure. Upon a determination by CBP, made any time after the merchandise has been presented for examination, that an article of domestic or foreign manufacture imported into the United States bears a counterfeit mark, CBP will seize such merchandise and, in the absence of the written consent of the owner of the mark, forfeit the seized merchandise in accordance with the customs laws. When merchandise is seized under this section, CBP will disclose to the owner of the mark the following information, if available, within thirty days (excluding weekends and holidays) from the date of the notice of seizure:
(1) The date of importation;
(2) The port of entry;
(3) The description of the merchandise from the entry;
(4) The quantity involved;
(5) The name and address of the manufacturer;
(6) The country of origin of the merchandise;
(7) The name and address of the exporter; and
(8) The name and address of the importer.
(e) Samples made available to the owner of the mark after seizure. At any time following a seizure of merchandise bearing a counterfeit mark under this section, CBP may provide a sample and its retail packaging, in its condition as presented for examination, to the owner of the mark for examination, testing, or other use in pursuit of a related private civil remedy for trademark infringement. To obtain a sample under this paragraph, the owner of the mark must furnish CBP a bond in the form and amount specified by the port director, conditioned to hold the United States, its officers and employees, and the importer or owner of the imported article harmless from any loss or damage to the sample resulting from the furnishing of a sample by CBP to the owner of the mark. CBP may demand the return of the sample at any time. The owner of the mark must return the sample to CBP upon demand or at the conclusion of the examination, testing, or other use in pursuit of a related private civil remedy for infringement. In the event that the sample is damaged, destroyed, or lost while in the possession of the owner of the mark, the owner must, in lieu of return of the sample, certify to CBP that: “The sample described as [insert description] and provided pursuant to 19 CFR 133.21(e) was (damaged/destroyed/lost) during examination, testing, or other use.”
(f) Consent of the mark owner; failure to make appropriate disposition. The owner of the mark, within thirty days from notification of seizure, may provide written consent to the importer allowing the importation of the seized merchandise in its condition as imported or its exportation, entry after obliteration of the mark, or other appropriate disposition. Otherwise, the merchandise will be disposed of in accordance with § 133.52 of this part, subject to the importer's right to petition for relief from forfeiture under the provisions of part 171 of this chapter.
[CBP Dec. 12-10, 77 FR 24379, Apr. 24, 2012]

Title 19 published on 2014-04-01

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