Brief: US Customs seize fake handbags, Lego worth $500k

Seized Michael Kors handbagUS Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Houston/Galveston seaport seized more than 200 counterfeit designer handbags and other goods with an estimated retail price of $500,000.

The fakes - which included copies of Michael Kors, Prada and Christian Dior items amongst other brands - originated from China and were manifested as bags, plastic toys and jewelry. The haul also included 50 packs of plastic building blocks bearing Lego branding that were deemed to contravene trademark laws.

Seized fake Lego CBP officers provided images of the items to the different trademark holders who each confirmed that the imported handbags and building blocks were counterfeit and confusingly similar to the genuine brand. The seized items, which were en route to a Houston store, will be destroyed.

Last year, CBP seized more than $4.7m in intellectual property rights violations nationwide. Handbags and wallets were the highest valued seized goods with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) estimate of more than $700m, up from more than $500m in 2012.

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