Recording Trademark Registrations with U.S. Customs

Every year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processes millions of cargo containers passing through the over 300 ports of entry into the United States.  CBP examines the imports, searching for – among other criminalities – violations of intellectual property rights.  The agency’s inspection process results in the annual seizure of thousands of imported counterfeit and infringing goods.

Trademark owners may not be aware of the major role CBP has in policing the infringement of intellectual property rights by foreign-sourced products.  In order to reap the benefits of the agency’s enforcement actions, trademark owners should consider recording their U.S. trademark registrations with CBP.  The process of recording a trademark is inexpensive and relatively quick, especially in comparison with civil litigation.  Moreover, recording trademarks with CBP may be an effective method of deterring, and discovering, potential infringements.

In order to record a mark with CBP, a trademark owner must have a federal registration for the mark on the U.S. Trademark Office’s (USPTO) principal register.  Trademarks on the USPTO’s supplemental register, common-law marks, or state-registered trademarks may not be recorded with CBP.  In addition to submitting an application and a filing fee ($190 per mark, per class), applicants may provide supplementary information and/or documents to assist CBP with enforcement.  For example, trademark owners have submitted “product guides” with information about identifying legitimate marks or infringing goods.

Trademarks approved for recordation will be added to CBP’s national database of protected marks (and copyrights, which may be recorded with CBP as well).  Having a trademark included in this database is a significant benefit of recordation.  CBP agents refer to the database to enforce intellectual property rights, and inclusion in the database ensures that CBP is aware of a mark.  The public has access the CBP database as well, which may deter potential infringers who can easily check to see which marks are being actively protected.

CBP may seize and detain goods which potentially infringe a trademark owner’s rights and which have been recorded with the agency and included in the database.  If CBP seizes/detains goods which may infringe a recorded trademark, the agency will contact the trademark owner and can send the owner photographs or samples to assist with identifying infringement.  Therefore, while recording a mark with CBP ensures that the agency is aware of a trademark owner’s mark and that the agency will alert the owner of potential infringements, trademark owners themselves are also responsible for assisting CBP with enforcing their rights.

Owners of international trademark registrations may record their marks with foreign countries as well.  For example, owners of Chinese trademark registrations may record their mark with the General Administration of Customs in China, which examines imports and exports for potentially infringing goods.

In summary, recording a trademark with CBP establishes a partnership between trademark owners and the agency that may help owners discover and reduce foreign infringements.  Please contact us with any questions regarding the recordation of your registered trademarks and/or copyrights with CBP.

-Courtney Reigel, Esq.

Pam Gavin Interviewed by CBS 6

Thanks to SonaBank P.O.W.E.R, on Wedesday April 10, 2019 our very own Pam Gavin was interviewed by CBS 6’s Jessica Noll. Tune in to the video here, to learn more about Gavin Law Offices, Pam’s journey to where she is today and to talk about the importance of having a great team.

https://wtvr.com/2019/04/10/sonabank-p-o-w-e-r-believing-in-the-power-of-you-7/

Pam Gavin began her legal career at two “mega” firms before building her own firm Gavin Law Offices, PLC – we’re sitting down for a second cup with Pam to learn more about her firm, what drives her and how the Sonabank POWER program helped her to achieve it. Jessica Noll – WTVR CBS 6 #vtmsecondcup #vtmsecondcupwithjess #sonabank #sonabankpowerprogram

Posted by WTVR CBS 6 News on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

 

You can head over to our Facebook page and see more www.facebook.com/gavinlawoffices

Trails & Shores

 

Meet Gavin Law Offices Client: Meade Fitzgerald, Owner of Trails & Shores.

Trails & Shores is an outdoor-themed apparel company established in 2016. They are a team of outdoor enthusiasts with professional experience in the design, print, and apparel industry.

Like many business owners of creative products and services, Trails & Shores works closely with the Gavin Law Offices team for their intellectual property legal needs, specifically for their copyright and trademarking. In asking Meade why he chose to work with Gavin, he said, “Gavin really cares about who they are serving. Gavin found a way to protect my marks in a way that I had never thought of. It has been a learning experience for me, but they have taught me everything I need to know along the way as my business has continued to grow. I would highly recommend Gavin Law Offices to other small businesses and entrepreneurs, especially in the creative fields, to handle any and all intellectual property and business related legal services.”

Gavin Networking in Scott’s Addition

Gavin Law Offices would like to thank Dominion Payroll, one of our trusted vendors, for inviting us to the SpeakUp 5K rally. Mari Kat and Katie had a BLAST supporting this local worthwhile cause. We firmly believe in the mission of the SpeakUp 5k/CKG Foundation to cultivate awareness and understanding of teenage depression and anxiety.

As event guests, we were also able to attend the soft open of the brilliant new Tang & Biscuit shuffleboard bar in Scott’s Addition. Let us tell you, they are really making the most of their branding by not only offering Tang-based cocktails, but also serving their trademark biscuits (our review, A+). We love seeing a great mark at work!

Fred Freeman at July Encorepreneur

Our Gavin lawyer, Fred Freeman, was out and about in the Richmond community at the July Encorepreneur.

Fred says, “I found the most recent Encorepreneur presentation, hosted by attorney Gary LeClair of LeClair Ryan, to be one of the more interesting talks I have attended. As a lawyer, I found myself woefully uninformed as to how our own industry may be unintentionally contributing to the stagnation of the legal field’s growth. Personally, I had never considered how the legal profession limits itself with regard to raising outside capital and attracting investors. Mr. LeClair sparked an interest to think about how our profession can move forward and grow with the ever-changing cultural and economic landscape of the 21st century, but also the importance how one should of take the time to consider the marketplace in which he or she works, and take steps to improve it!