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Trademarks & Copyrights

Intellectual property can be a significant component of the value of your goods, so utilizing it effectively and protecting it against potential infringement by competitors are vital. Identifying your IP assets, registering your IP with the relevant federal agencies, and recording your IP with U.S. Customs and Border Protection are good first steps. Distribution and licensing agreements can expand your brand and add value to your portfolio, and effective monitoring of your IP internationally can help protect that value by safeguarding against infringement. If violations are found, rights holders can file suit in court or pursue claims at the International Trade Commission, which can offer faster resolution as well as remedies such as excluding infringing goods from entry into the U.S.

On the other side, importers of branded goods need to secure proper authorization from rights holders and take measures to protect against counterfeit or pirated goods.

Gray Market

Branded goods can be purchased abroad and lawfully imported into the U.S. by anyone (gray  market imports) unless the brand owner takes action to restrict imports. However, brand owners often do not take advantage of restriction opportunities, gray market importers often have difficulty identifying and importing lawfully importable goods, and CBP often disrupts supply chains by questioning whether shipments are licensed, lawful, or counterfeit. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg has helped brand owners and gray market importers for decades to understand, comply with, and address CBP decision-making on these issues.

Why Use ST&R's IPR Services

Protection against infringing imports: Once IP is properly recorded with CBP, the agency will monitor and seize infringing imports on the rights holder’s behalf and can levy monetary penalties against those involved.

Defense against wrongful claims: ST&R is skilled at helping companies wrongfully accused of IPR infringement refute those claims and get their goods into U.S. commerce.

Gray market goods: Buying genuine goods abroad and importing them into the U.S. for sale can be a profitable enterprise but is subject to strictly enforced requirements that ST&R can help you comply with.

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