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Copyrighted Goods May Be Imported Freely Says U.S. Supreme Court
 Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP /

The United States Supreme Court ruled today that the “first sale doctrine” applies to foreign-made goods, so copyrighted material legally manufactured and sold abroad may be imported and sold in the U.S. without the copyright holder’s permission. The practical effect of this decision is that US traders may buy copyrighted product abroad and freely import them into the United States for resale.

This decision is limited to copyrights and does not address whether the first sale of a trademarked product should be permitted entry free of restrictions.

Here is a link to the actual decision.

CBP Agriculture Specialists in Brownsville Intercept Significant Pests, Issue Penalties Totaling More than $1.3 Million
U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Brownsville, Texas – Since October 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Brownsville Port of Entry have intercepted significant pests found within solid wood packaging materials in 25 separate shipments.

CBP agriculture specialists’ examinations of 25 commercial trucks at the Veterans International Bridge cargo lot resulted in the discovery of live wood-boring insects. The insects were collected from wooden pallets containing merchandise being imported into the United States from Mexico. The collected insects were transported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Inspection Station at Los Indios for identification, where the specimens were confirmed as quarantine-significant pests. As a result of this finding, the 25 shipments were exported back to Mexico.

“An extensive outreach program has been initiated by Brownsville’s CBP agriculture specialists to educate, brokers, transporters, fumigators and other stakeholders involved in the importation of merchandise on solid wood packaging materials,” said Michael T. Freeman, Port Director at the Brownsville Port of Entry. Freeman went on to say, “Protecting American agriculture on the frontlines is what CBP agriculture specialists are specially trained for. I applaud our agriculture team for their outstanding commitment in keeping pests and plant diseases from entering our country.”

CBP agriculture specialists at the Brownsville Port of Entry have discovered live pests of concern multiple times in shipments from various importers. In all cases, the WPM displayed the International Plant Protection Convention marking which indicates pallets have been treated according to international standards. Penalties totaling $1.3 million have been issued to importers who have made multiple attempts to enter with violative WPM.

CBP agriculture specialists working at U.S. ports of entry ensure that cargo and conveyances are not infested with harmful plant pests and diseases that could harm the agricultural crops, plants and trees in the United States. Certain types of word-boring beetles could be devastating to numerous types of trees since they may have no natural predators in this region. Infestation could spread at an alarming rate and conceivably cost millions of dollars and man hours to eradicate.

USCBP - Internet Purchases

U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

This page discusses the procedures and pitfalls associated with importing goods purchased over the Internet from foreign sources.

Your Responsibility and Liability
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declarations
Postal Service, Couriers and Freight
Importing Process
Prohibited Merchandise
Restricted Merchandise
Electronic Transmissions

CBP Seizes Over $86M in Counterfeit and Pirated Merchandise at Miami International Airport
U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Miami – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Miami International Airport have intercepted 505 shipments of counterfeit and pirated merchandise with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $86,939,519 over the past six months.

“One of CBP’s priorities is protecting the United States and consumers from the economic devastation associated with the trafficking of counterfeit goods,” said Roland Suliveras, CBP port director, at Miami International Airport.

As the federal agency responsible for border protection, CBP plays a role on the frontline of intellectual property rights enforcement as CBP conducts seizure of goods infringing upon trademarks, trade names and copyrights.

By interdicting these fake goods, CBP aggressively protects unsuspecting American consumers and private industry from infringing substandard or potentially dangerous products. This serious crime not only funds criminal activity but undermines America’s economic competitiveness, the health and safety of consumers, and our national security.

CBP continues to partner with other federal agencies, the trade community, and the trademark holders to enhance the agency’s intellectual property rights enforcement efforts. As CBP continues to intercept these counterfeit and pirated goods, the agency must facilitate the release of legitimate cargo. This is a delicately balanced mission that the agency takes very seriously.

Retailers Agree to Settle FTC Charges They Marketed Real Fur Products as Fake Fur
U.S. Federal Trade Commmission  /

Three clothing retailers have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they misled consumers by marketing that products contained “faux fur,” when in fact, the products contained real fur.

In administrative complaints, the FTC alleged that The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Inc., and Eminent Inc., doing business as Revolve Clothing violated the FTC Act and the Fur Products Labeling Act (Fur Act) by falsely claiming that some products had “faux” fur, and by not naming the animal that produced the fur.  Neiman Marcus also allegedly misrepresented that a rabbit fur product had mink fur, and failed to disclose the fur country of origin for three fur products.  The FTC published for public comment orders prohibiting the retailers, for 20 years, from violating the Fur Act and the Rules and Regulations Under the Fur Act.

According to the FTC, Neiman Marcus’s website misrepresented the fur content and failed to disclose the animal name and fur country of origin for three products:  a Burberry Outerwear Jacket, a Stuart Weitzman Ballerina Flat shoe, and an Alice + Olivia Kyah Coat.  Neiman Marcus also misrepresented the fur content of the shoe in its catalog, at, and in ads mailed to consumers. allegedly misrepresented the fur content and failed to disclose the animal name for three products:  a Snorkel Jacket by Crown Holder with a fur-lined hood, a Fur/Leather Vest by Knoles & Carter with exterior fur, and a New York Subway Leather Bomber Jacket by United Face with fur lining.
Eminent Inc., doing business as Revolve Clothing, allegedly misrepresented the fur content and failed to disclose the animal name for four products:  an Australia Luxe Collective Nordic Angel Short Boot with a fur-trimmed hood, a Mark Jacobs Runway Roebling Coat, a Dakota Xan Fur Poncho, and an Eryn Brinie Belted Faux Fur Vest.

Under proposed consent orders that apply for 20 years, the respondents are barred from violating the Fur Act and the Fur Rules.  Consistent with the Commission’s Enforcement Policy Statement announced in January, the orders provide that the respondents will not be liable for misrepresentations about fur products that they directly import if they do not embellish or misrepresent claims provided by the products’ manufacturers, they do not sell the product as a private label product, and they neither know nor should have known that the product is marketed in a manner that violates the Fur Act.

The Commission vote to accept the consent agreement packages containing the proposed consent orders for public comment was 4-0.  The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement packages in the Federal Register shortly.  The agreements will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through April 18, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent orders final.  Interested parties can submit comments electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Invitation To Comment” part of the “Supplementary Information” section.

Comments in electronic form can be submitted using the following links:

Comments in paper form should be mailed or delivered to:  Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.  The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form near the end of the public comment period be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.  The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the respondent has actually violated the law.  A consent order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the respondent that the law has been violated.  When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions.  Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000.

Baltimore CBP Intercepts First in Port Caterpillar
U.S. Customs & Border Protection /

Baltimore – A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist confirmed Wednesday that U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists at Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport discovered a new pest in the Baltimore area when they intercepted, a Helicoverpa armigera, or Cotton Bollworm, while inspecting a bag of peppers found inside of a traveler’s luggage on Jan. 17.

Cotton Bollworm can pose a significant agriculture threat because they feed on a wide variety of important agriculture crops, such as corn, tomatoes, chickpeas, alfalfa, tobacco, cotton, sorghum, sunflower, soybean and groundnuts. Infestation can lead to a decrease in productivity and quality of these crops, which can result in significant economic loss. When bacteria and fungi enter the injury caused by the feeding caterpillars indirect effects such as rotting or early dropping of fruits can occur.

“CBP agriculture specialists take their job of detecting foreign invasive plants and plant pests very seriously,” said Ricardo Scheller port director for the Port of Baltimore. “This is another example of our agriculture specialist performing a thorough inspection and finding a new potential threat to the U.S. agriculture industry.”

The caterpillar was discovered in a pepper being carried by a passenger originating from Ghana and arriving from the United Kingdom. CBP seized the infested peppers and forwarded the specimen to a USDA- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) - Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) entomologist for identification. The remaining peppers were then destroyed by incineration.

CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA’s, APHIS, PPQ to protect our nation’s agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases.or more on the USDA, APHIS, PPQ program, please visit the USDA Web site. 

CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect tens of thousands of international air passengers, and air and sea cargoes nationally being imported to the United States and seize 4,919 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 476 insect pests.

To learn more about CBP agriculture specialists, please visit the CBP Web site.

CPSC and ACCC Warn of Poison Dangers with Liquid Laundry Packets
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission /

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are urging parents to take immediate action to ensure their family is not exposed to the hazards posed by liquid laundry packets or capsules. Young children who are exposed to the highly concentrated, toxic detergent are at risk of serious injury.

Reports of incidents in the United States and Australia have prompted the product safety agencies to warn parents about what can happen if these products are not used safely. Children who have ingested detergent from the packets have required medical attention and hospitalization for loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing. Eye contact has also resulted in reports of injury, including severe irritation and temporary loss of vision.

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