CBP seizes counterfeit Air Pods and Apple watches.

Seized counterfeit Apple watches, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers in Chicago inspected and seized seven boxes from Hong Kong containing 423 smart watches and 200 earphones. With suspected intellectual property seizures, CBP will send photos or samples of the items to the Electronics Center of Excellence and Expertise (Electronics CEE). The CEE will then verify with the property rights holder if the importer was authorized to use the word mark. 100% of the time the property rights holder will reply the importer of record is not authorized to import the goods and the entire shipment will be seized.

In addition to registering the “Apple”, “iPhone” with Customs, companies can also protect the shape, design, form and function of the items. For example, the photo above shows the same shape and design of an Apple Watch. CBP estimates the value of the shipment, if authentic would be approximately $204,168.

What happens after a seizure?
If you are an importer, after a seizure, CBP will send you a “Notice of Seizure”. You will then have 30 days to respond to the Notice of Seizure, if you do not – then Customs will begin forfeiture of your goods.

Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com if you have received a seizure notice to discuss your options.

CBP seizes more than $650k worth of fake Apple AirPods.

Image of seized counterfeit AirPod, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the LA/Long Beach seaport (one of the top 4 busiest US ports) seized over 2,400 pairs of counterfeit wireless earphones along with 14,220 charging cables. CBP estimates the value of the seized goods, if authentic to be worth $651,780. The goods were seized for violating Apple’s airpod and lightning registered trademarks (see image of a sample of the actual AirPods and cables seized).

If you have had your shipment seized for suspicion of violating trademarks, contact seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com to discuss your options.

450 fake iPhone cases valued at over $17,000 seized by Chicago Customs.

Seized cases. Source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers at the Chicago Express Consignment facility seized 450 Apple iPhone cases from Hong Kong. Officers opened the shipment labeled “mobile phone shell” and found the cases for the 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max and the 8 Plus phone models.

CBP officers determined the cases were counterfeit based off bad quality design, materials, packaging and printing. Based off the image attached to this media release, I believe the cases are counterfeits of the Apple OEM cases sold through the website.

If authentic, the value of the cases would retail for about $17,550. If you have had your DHL/UPS/FedEx shipment seized by CBP for alleged counterfeit violations – contact seizure attorney David Hsu 24/7 by phone at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

$51k in counterfeit electronics, Apple Air Pods, Jordans and purses seized.

PIT Apple762H 022420

Counterfeit Apple charger.

PIT Gucci889L 040520

Counterfeit “Gucci” purse.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, CBP officers in Pittsburgh seized counterfeit consumer goods that included electronics, air pods, sneakers and designer brand purses. If authentic, the value of the seized goods would be more than $51,000. The two above photos are from the CBP media release.

It is obvious the purse is a counterfeit, however, I don’t believe the importers of the AC adapter should have their adapters seized – there is no way an importer or manufacturer would use an image of a red apple and believe someone would think that is a real Apple product.

The counterfeit goods were shipped in 23 separate boxes, of which 19 boxes were from Hong Kong, 2 from China, and 1 each from Singapore and Taiwan. The media release further itemizes the seized goods: 264 flawless shavers (no idea what these are), 235 Apple chargers (which wouldn’t confuse anyone as to their authenticity), 120 “Apple” ear pods, 60 HDMI switches, 21 fully-loaded Nintendo-like gaming systems (probably the emulators running Nestopia?), 20 pairs of Air Jordans and counterfeit purses featuring brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi and Gucci.

If you have had your good seized and you received a seizure notice from Customs, contact experienced customs seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

What could Apple do to reduce the tariff impact on September 1st?

pexels-photo-887751.jpeg

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

If Trump levies a 10% tariff on over $300 billion of goods on September 1st, all of Apple’s products from China would be impacted. What options does Apple have?

  1. Exclusions – Apple can apply for an exclusion of their goods that are covered by the proposed List 4.
  2. Country of origin – Apple’s major contract manufacturer, Hon Hai has additional production ability in Taiwan, India, Thailand and Vietnam and a shift to one of those countries may be possible. Samsung makes their Galaxy phones in Vietnam.
  3. Apple can ask their suppliers for price reductions to make up for the additional 10% duties.

Like Apple, other these options are also available to any company that manufactures in China. If you want to know what your company can do to lessen the impact of the potential duties, or want to know other ways to save money on duties – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump: Apple goods from China will be subject to duties.

apple technology ipad computer

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

According to the AFP, earlier today, President Donald Trump warned he would deny Apple’s “exclusion request” for tariff exemptions on device components imported from China.

Specifically, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter:

“Apple will not be given Tariff wavers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!”

Trump’s message on Twitter is in response to Apple’s filing of an “exclusion request” with the U.S. trade representative. Apple claims that some parts of the Mac Pro desktop being sold at $6,000 can only be sourced in China and therefore not be subject to 301 duties.

If your imported goods from China are subject to the current “List 3” duties and you would like to file an exemption, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com or by phone/text at: 832-896-6288.

Apple shifts Mac Pro production to China, then asks to not pay tariffs on imported Mac Pros.

apple laptop notebook office

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Mac Pro was the last Apple product manufactured in the US, and last June, Apple announced they would shift Mac Pro production to China.

On July 18th, Apple filed “exclusion requests” with the US Trade Representative to exclude certain items from the 25% 301 duties on goods imported from China.

The parts include a CPU, heat sink, power supplies, USB charging cables, circuit boards, graphics processing modules, computer enclosure, the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.

To view Apple’s exclusion requests, go here: https://exclusions.ustr.gov/s/PublicDocket and search by “Organization Name” for “Apple”.

If you want to file an exclusion request, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Hong Kong Customs seizes fake Apple and Samsung parts at a repair facility.

boat on body of water

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

According to a South China Morning Post article, Hong Kong Customs officials investigated and ultimately raided a cell phone repair shop after receiving complaints from a trademark holder (not specified whether Apple or Samsung complained).

The article claimed the repair shop refurbished devices for clients in the US, UK and Australia that sent second-hand phones for repair at 1/3 the typical rate of an authorized repair facility. The repairs typically included replacing the screen or housing.

HK Customs officials claimed the repair shop used counterfeit parts to repair damaged iPhones, and seized over $120,000 worth of fake goods.

Based on the article, I’m pretty sure Apple complained about the IP violations since most Samsung phones do not have the housing replaced when being refurbished. While not listed in the article, the IP violations probably were for the wordmark “iPhone” or the trademark Apple logo found on the back housing. The iPhone replacement glass do not have any IP marks, so the seized goods were most likely the housings.

If you have any cell phone seizures, contact experienced cell phone seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Chinese companies retaliate against Apple following Huawei CFO’s arrest.

silver iphone x with airpods

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Pexels.com

Following Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s Global CFO on December 1st, several companies in China have announced new policies to encourage (and even require) the use of Huawei products instead of America’s Apple iPhone.

According to the Yahoo article – several companies in China now offer subsidies for employees exchanging iPhone handsets for Huawei and even placing a penalty on employees who purchase an iPhone for themselves. Several other companies take the boycott even further and are discouraging their employees from buying American made products such as cars.

The backlash against Apple may be due to Huawei’s position as the number 2 smartphone manufacturer in the world behind Samsung. Unfortunately for Apple, this recent backlash will only hurt their already low sales numbers in China (Huawei holds the largest share of the Chinese market for smartphones).

Qualcomm asks Judge to block iPhone imports – Judge says no because of “public interest factors”.

apple applications apps cell phone

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

Qualcomm appeared in front of the US International Trade Commission Judge on Friday to request a ban on the importation of Apple iPhones due to Apple phones infringing Qualcomm’s patent related to power management technology. Apple’s position is that Qualcomm is requesting royalties for technology unrelated to Qualcomm.

The administrative law judge, Thomas Pender, found Apple did infringe on one patent, but denied the request for a ban citing “public interest factors”.

From my experience, CBP will readily and gladly detain and/or seize any import that infringes upon any intellectual property or trademark registered by the holder. We all know the reason why the Judge said he would not ban the importations of iPhones – he does not want to be known as “that guy” that banned importation of some iPhones to the US – especially due to the release of the new iPhone max and other variations.

Unfortunately, this decision highlights the rules being selectively applied to some and not to others.

If your imports have been detained or seized by Customs, contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.