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29 March 2021
At the Chicago O’Hare’s International Mail Branch, US Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted a package that contained 445 counterfeit designer products on March 18, 2021. The shipment was coming from Thailand, and had the items been real the manufacturer’s recommended price for these products would have been US$635,600.
“From our discussion with Customs officials, they do not have records or statisticss on counterfeit shipments exported from Thailand,” says Say Sujintaya, a partner of intellectual property and technology at Baker McKenzie in Bangkok. “However, based on our experience, Thai Customs only seize exported counterfeit products about once a year and generally inspect only a small percentage of exports. Nevertheless, they don’t believe this is a new trend.”
“Even if the seized exports were indeed shipped from Thailand, the original source of these seized products would have been China, since Thailand does not produce many of these counterfeit products,” says Sujintaya.
The CBP officers examined the shipment to determine the admissibility of the shipments, and discovered the box contained counterfeit designer items. Officers found:
11 Louis Vuitton handbags
8 Chanel handbags
11 Gucci handbags
4 Christian Dior handbags
1 Set of Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton hosiery
1 Nike and Gucci cap
131 pairs of Chanel earrings
16 pairs of Dior earrings
14 pairs of YSL earrings
72 pairs of Gucci earrings
47 pairs of Louis Vuitton earrings
6 Louis Vuitton facemasks
2 Louis Vuitton wallets
2 Louis Vuitton sunglasses
1 pair of Fendi sunglasses
5 Louis Vuitton pendants
5 Dior pendants
4 YSL pendants
1 Gucci pendant,
24 Gucci hairclips
5 Louis Vuitton hairclips
19 Dior Vuitton hairclips
52 Chanel hairclips
The merchandise was seized for violating trademark laws. The name of the shipper was the same name as the recipient and was heading to a residence in Wichita, Kansas.
The rapid growth of e-commerce enables consumers to search for and easily purchase millions of products through online vendors, but this easy access gives counterfeit and pirated goods more ways to enter the US economy. American consumers spend more than US$100 billion every year on IP infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20 percent of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide.
Commonly, these goods are sold in underground outlets and on third party e-commerce websites. Counterfeit commodities fund smugglers and members of organized crime. Consumers often believe they are buying a genuine product but soon realize the item is substandard.
In a truly unprecedented year for all, which IP fi...
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