US customs seizes fake watches worth $28.7m16-Jul-2012
US customs officials in Texas have seized counterfeit watches with a retail value of $28.7m (€23.4m).
A 10-box shipment containing 1,120 watches that infringed Louis Arden and Audemars Piguet design trademarks was seized at Laredo Port of Entry in Texas. The shipment also contained 3,080 watches ‘used to facilitate the importation of the violative’ products.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) calculated the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) at $28.7m. “This is one of the highest valued seizures in terms of MSRP in the history of the Port of Laredo,” Sidney Aki, CBP port director, Laredo Port of Entry, said.
The seizure came after a CBP import specialist at World Trade Bridge, which links Mexico to the US, found possible trademark infringements during an enforcement examination. On June 29 the subsequent shipment of 1,120 counterfeit watches was seized by CBP officials at Laredo Port.
Identification of the trademark infringements was helped by actions taken by Louis Arden and Audemars Piguet. Both the Swiss watchmakers had registered trademarks with CBP.
“Continued vigilance helps companies, especially those that register their trademarks with CBP, feel confident that their intellectual and property rights are protected,” Aki said.
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