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.

CBP seizes $1 million dollars worth of counterfeit phones.

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Image of the seized phones, source: cbp.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers in Philadelphia seized a a combined 4,449 counterfeit LG and ASUS smartphones in July. If the phones were authentic, they would have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $941,450.

The counterfeit phones were shipped from China and included 2,043 counterfeit LG phones in the first shipment and 1,926 LG and 480 ASUS counterfeit smartphones in the second shipment.

According to Customs, the phones were shipped from China to the Dominican Republic and then to Philadelphia. The phones were described in the paperwork as “cell phones used”. CBP says the phones will be destroyed.

If you have had your cell phones seized, contact experienced cellphone seizure attorney David Hsu immediately at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

CBP says the phones will be “destroyed”, however, there hasn’t been enough time from the date of the seizure to the date of the media release – there is still time to do something to get the phones released.

There are ways to get the phones released, contact David Hsu immediately – time is of the essence!

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

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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.

Intel CEO talks about Huawei ban.

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In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Intel CEO Bob Swan said Huawei was an “important customer” while stressing Intel must abide by the “rules of the road” – the export restrictions in place after Huawei’s inclusion on the BIS entity list.

Intel’s CEO was one of six other tech CEO’s who met with President Trump this past Monday to discuss security issues around the use of Huawei equipment. While most people relate Huawei to their smartphones, Huawei also makes the infrastructure for the internet. Huawei is currently working on 5G equipment which US officials suspect will contain back doors or other  means for Chinese espionage.

In related news – Intel reported second-quarter earnings and beating expectations and Intel will sell most of its smartphone modem business to Apple for $1 billion.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).