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August 31, 09

NEWS / Officers Confiscate Counterfeit Michael Jackson Belt Buckles at California Seaport

Los Angeles - At a glance they looked legitimate, but for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and import specialists, a shipment of belt buckles bearing the Michael Jackson image was cause for a closer look.

CBP officials examined samples of the belt buckles last week and determined that they were indistinguishable from various items bearing the Michael Jackson name, words and images registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress.

After the importer was unable to provide authorization for the use of the trademarks and the copyrights, CBP officers seized the shipment containing 800 belt buckles. The domestic value of the shipment is $400, with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $6,992.

“Intellectual property rights are key to a vibrant and productive economy, which is why IPR violations are a trade enforcement priority,” said Kevin Weeks CBP director of field operation, Los Angeles. “Seizures such as this are the result of good work by CBP officers on the frontline responsible for enforcing hundreds of our nation’s laws.”

The shipment contained an assortment of items bearing Michael Jackson’s copyrighted images along with the trademarked words “Michael Jackson,” “Dangerous World Tour 1992,” “Dangerous,” “Moonwalker,” “Bad World Tour,” “King of Pop” and “Money,” the title of a popular Michael Jackson song.

CBP has designated intellectual property rights enforcement a priority trade issue, devoting considerable resources and personnel to IPR enforcement. CBP’s strategic approach to IPR enforcement is multi-layered and includes seizing fake goods at our borders, pushing the border outward through audits of infringing importers, cooperation with our international trading partners and collaborating with industry and other government agencies to enhance these efforts.




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