In Fiscal Year 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized over 26,000 counterfeit goods shipments. These counterfeit goods infringed the hard-earned and valuable intellectual property rights of individuals and businesses. Moreover, the CBP estimates the total monetary values of the seizures amounted to nearly $1.3 billion dollars of goods.

How can the CBP help protect me and my business?

When most people think of the CBP, they think of immigration or international travel. However, the CBP also enforces U.S. intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Specifically, the CBP can seize counterfeit goods from entering the United States at various ports of entry.

Indeed, in 2020, CBP officers in Dallas, Texas, seized a shipment of high-end counterfeit textiles valued at close to $10 million dollars. In particular, such counterfeit goods deceive the public and damage the reputation and goodwill of the brand.

How can I register my intellectual property right the CBP?

Overall, the registration process is quite simple. After receiving a federally registered trademark of U.S. copyright registration, brand owners need to fill out an online e-Recordation application. To apply, intellectual property owners will need the following to complete the online form:

  1. Registration number (copyright or trademark);
  2. Name, address, and citizenship of the intellectual property rights owner;
  3. The place(s) of manufacture;
  4. Name and addresses of those authorized or licensed to use the trademark or copyright; and
  5. The identity of a parent company or subsidiary authorized to use the trademark or copyright.

Furthermore, additional information can also be confidentially provided to the CBP to aid in the identification of counterfeit goods. For example, brands can submit a guide for assisting CBP agents in identifying counterfeit goods easily and quickly.

Additionally, there is also a nominal government fee to complete the required initial application.

Intellectual Property RightGovernment FeeTerm of Registration
Trademark$190 per class10 years
Copyright$19020 years

Note: Trademarks are registered for 10-year periods, while copyrights are registered for 20 years. However, they can each be renewed for successive terms for $80.

Takeaway

Overall, as a valid copyright or trademark registration owner, there are many tools at your disposal to assist in enforcing your hard-earned intellectual property rights. Without a doubt, recording your intellectual property rights with the CBP is a valuable tool in the enforcement tool belt of brand owners.

How much does it cost to register your trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs and Border Protection?

The application fee is $190 to register your trademark or copyright with CBP. However, if you are renewing a currently registered trademark or copyright, the renewal fee is only $80.

How long does a trademark or copyright stay registered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection?

The term for trademarks is 10 years and is extended to 20 years for copyrights.