SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- On Tuesday, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Juan Field Operations officers seized a consignment of counterfeit soccer team delegation uniforms. The shipment, arriving from Hong Kong to the San Juan Air Cargo facility, contained boxes of soccer tee-shirts and shorts that were destined to an address in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
With a high demand for the 2014 FIFA World Cup related apparel, some dishonest vendors sought to capitalize on the event’s popularity, infringing on various trademark holder’s rights and revenues.
“The trade in these illegitimate goods is associated with smuggling and other criminal activities, and often funds criminal enterprises”, stated Area Port Director Juan Hurtado. “Protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) remains a CBP priority.”
Further inspection revealed that the fake uniforms of the Brazilian, Italian and Argentinean national teams violated the IPRs of Puma, Adidas and Nike.
CBP protects businesses and consumers every day through an aggressive IPR enforcement program. CBP targets and seizes imports of counterfeit and pirated goods and enforces exclusion orders on patent-infringing and other IPR goods.
During FY 2013, CBP field operations conducted more than 164 seizures related to IPR violations, with a domestic value of approximately $1.9 million.
Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens America’s innovation economy, the competitiveness of businesses, the livelihoods of US workers, the economic security of our country, and in some cases, the health and safety of consumers.
The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) is one of the US government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy.
Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center harnesses the tactical expertise of its 21 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the health and safety of the American consumer and the US economy.