U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to amend its regulations pertaining to imports of goods that violate or are suspected of violating U.S. copyright laws in order to implement certain provisions of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act. Comments on this proposed rule are due no later than Dec. 16.

CBP states that this proposed rule includes the following provisions.

- requires pre-seizure disclosure of certain information to right holders if their review of the information, or examination or testing of the imported goods, would assist CBP in its determination as to whether suspect goods violate the copyright laws

- disallows such disclosures if the copyright at issue has not been recorded with CBP or if making the disclosure would compromise an ongoing law enforcement investigation or national security

- provides procedural safeguards to limit the release of information on non-violative shipments

- requires CBP to (a) disclose to persons injured by goods seized for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (e.g., devices used to circumvent copyright protection measures) information equivalent to that disclosed to copyright owners when goods are seized for violation of the copyright laws and (b) create a list of persons eligible to receive such post-seizure disclosures

- adds regulatory provisions for the detention and seizure of articles that constitute violations under the DMCA

- redefines “piratical articles” as those that constitute unlawful (made without the authorization of the copyright towner) copies or phonorecords of a recorded copyright

- simplifies the detention process for goods suspected of violating the copyright laws

- centralizes information on the bond conditions for IPR owners to obtain samples of imported goods suspected of being infringing

For more information, please contact trade attorney Lee Sandler at (305) 894-1000.

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