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.
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!
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.
According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers at the Pembina officers seize counterfeit iPhones at the Pembina Port of Entry in North Dakota.
The iPhones were seized for being in violation of intellectual property rights (IPR) regulations. The shipment contained 39 cell phones with the Apple trademark and have a retail price of $31,200.
The rest of the media release talks about CBP enforcing intellectual property, how counterfeit goods funds criminal activity, and counterfeit goods may be made out of materials that are harmful to the health and safety of the users..
The article didn’t go into detail, but here are a few other things you should know from my handling of iPhone seizures:
- Usually the violation is for a counterfeit use of the iPhone wordmark or the Apple logo. The “Notice of Seizure” will tell you what was violated. You have to read this carefully and must respond within 30 days to a notice of seizure.
- You will also get a letter from Apple’s law firm asking you to stop importing iPhone goods.
- Be sure your address is current and accurate with CBP, they will only mail notices to the address on the shipment.
- If you get a Seizure Notice, you have 4 options: file a petition, offer in compromise, abandon the goods or refer to court.
- The value of the iPhones given by CBP will be much higher than you paid, as I believe they value the goods at the MSRP at the time they are first released.
- Why does the value matter? The value of the goods will be used to calculate any penalties. For example, civil penalties may be 3x the value of the shipment.
- CBP and Customs problems don’t go away – CBP has 5 years to go after an importer. CBP isn’t going away and neither will your seizure.
If you have had your shipment of iPhones seized, contact me. I’ve represented many cell phone importers of iPhones, Samsung and their accessories and there are things we can do but time is of the essence.
Contact me at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.