Effective Oct. 19, 2015, Customs (CBP) will be amending their interim regulations respecting Intellectual Property Rights enforcement. One change of particular significance will allow importers (not just trademark owners) to receive photos or samples of suspected counterfeit merchandise that would otherwise be protected by the Trade Secrets Act. The new regulation will be found at 19 C.F.R. § 133.21(d). View the upcoming regulation here.
CBP is amending their interim regulations in an effort to better protect trademark owners and more accurately determine which merchandise travelling through U.S. ports bears a counterfeit mark. CBP believes that allowing importers to have unredacted information about potentially counterfeit marks appearing on imported goods will be useful, as importers, if also privy to this information, will be able to assist Customs by “providing CBP with a meaningful response to a detention notice.” CBP will be required to inform the trademark owner that any information divulged that would be otherwise protected by the Trade Secrets Act is for the “limited purpose of assisting CBP.”