Pirated Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry seized in Florida

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra fakeUS Customs and Border Protections officers have seized 720 pieces of counterfeit Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry worth an estimated $6m at Miami International Airport.

CBP officers said they selected the shipment for inspection and immediately noticed that the merchandise was imitation jewelry that "bore a false, non-genuine copyright clearly piratical to the federally recorded copyright." The CBP reports that officers seized about $3.4m of counterfeit goods around the country each day in 2014.

The sized items include copies of Van Cleef & Arpel's signature Alhambra range of charms, which were first introduced in the late 1960s and feature a distinctive four-leaf clover designs. The design remains one of the company's biggest sellers with pieces typically starting from around $1,000 and reaching more than $120,000 for high-end items.

Van Cleef & Arpels is a 'maison' of luxury goods giant Richemont, a €10bn company which has been battling counterfeiting of its products for years. In addition to jewelry the division sells watches and fragrances.

The company won a major victory in the courts last year when the UK High Court ruled brand owners could force Internet services providers to block websites pirated copies of its products, which also include brands such as Cartier, Lange Uhren, Officine Panerai, Roger Dubuis, and Alfred Dunhill.

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