Counterfeit goods seized at Kentucky World Fest.

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Counterfeit goods seized at 2019 WorldFest. (Source: Louisville Metro Alcoholic Beverages Licences)

According to WDRB, a local station in Louisville, Kentucky – an investigation funded by a 2-year, $25,000 federal grant from the US Department of Justice resulted in the seizure of more than $1 million worth of counterfeit goods from this past weekend’s WorldFest.

The article did not specify the brands that were seized, but did mention the counterfeit items included purses and sunglasses. Two men, 59-year-old Kassoum Thiam and 52-year-old Saidou Djau were cited for selling counterfeit merchandise at five separate booths.

While this was not a customs seizure, I’m pretty sure the next step for investigators is coordinate with CBP to determine how or where the two men received the merchandise.

If you or anyone you know is facing accusations of importing counterfeit merchandise or have had items seized by Customs for suspicion of being counterfeit – contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US and China agree to end trade war.

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Photo by Manuel Joseph on Pexels.com

According to aMay 19th article from the Agence France-Presse (AFP), China’s Vice-Premier Liu He announced the US and China “reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war, and will stop increasing tariffs on each other”. The AFP article cited Chinese state media for their article and here is the Cliffs Notes version:

1. Both the US and China will stop increasing tariffs against each other.
2. China agreed to increase purchases of US goods and services.
3. Joint statement did not address reducing the trade deficit with China.
4. New trade cooperation to medical care, high tech products and finance.
5. Each part will cooperate on protecting intellectual property rights

Will update as more news becomes available.

The Office of the United States Trade Representatives releases special 301 report on Intellectual Property Rights.

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On April 27th, The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released their 2018 Special 301 report listing trading partners that do not “adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to U.S. innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights”.

The Report singles out several US trading partners to address IP-related issues and places certain countries on a “Watch List” and “Priority Watch List”.

As you may be aware, Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 authorizes the President to take all appropriate action, including retaliation, to obtain the removal of any act, policy, or practice of a foreign government that violates an international trade agreement or is unjustified, unreasonable, or discriminatory, and that burdens or restricts US commerce. Section 301 actions are unique in that they do not require authorization from the World Trade Organization (TWO) to take enforcement action.

The US Government estimates the Intellectual Property industries directly and indirectly support 30% of all employment in the United States (or about 45.5 million American jobs).

Some highlights of the 2018 Special 301 Report include:

1. The following 12 countries are on the “Priority Watch List” – Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

2. China is included on the “Priority Watch List” for the 14th year in a row and claims China’s technology transfer practices, trade secret theft, counterfeit manufacturing etc.

3. India is also included on the “Priority Watch List” for “longstanding challenges in its IP framework and lack of sufficient measurable improvements, particularly with respect to patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and enforcement, as well as for new issues that have negatively affected U.S. right holders over the past year.”

4. Canada was surprisingly indicated on the “Priority Watch List” instead of their usual “Watch List” status. The USTR cited Customs inability to inspect or detained counterfeit or pirated good shipped through Canada and IP protections for pharmaceuticals among others.

The full Spectial 301 Report can be read here.

If you have any questions about this report, feel free to contact David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.