News of Note
Obama Administration Releases Recommendations To Congress On Intellectual Property Enforcement At The Border
On March 15, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator ("IPEC") issued a white paper on recommended legislative changes designed to increase the effectiveness of U.S. enforcement efforts. Among other things, the Administration aims to clamp down on infringing imports. IPEC recommends legislative authorization for U.S. Customs to share information and product samples with rightsholders in order to receive help in identifying infringing merchandise at the borders. This would resolve the problem of U.S. Customs currently lacking express authority to notify rightsholders when infringing products have been excluded or seized under an International Trade Commission order. IPEC also recommended a procedure for voluntary disclosure without penalty for importers who unknowingly imported infringing products. In addition, IPEC recommended authorizing penalties on exporters (as opposed to just importers) and on companies that are found to have been involved in the importation of infringing products during post-entry audits.