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Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart
Mini Article – Volume 23, Issue 17

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Customs Recordation – A Cost-Effective Way to Combat Piracy

By Kristyn Webb

September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. In terms of intellectual property, “pirating” refers to the unauthorized copying, distribution, or use of someone else’s creative work without their permission, and often for personal or financial gain. This can include various forms of creative content, such as software, music, movies, books, artwork, and more. Piracy essentially involves reproducing and distributing intellectual property without compensating the original creators or obtaining the necessary licenses or permissions.

In July 2023 alone, US Customs and Border Protection seized $165 million worth of counterfeit and pirated goods. Beyond the legal and economic harms, counterfeit and pirated goods can negative health and safety implications because they are often made of low-quality materials and manufactured without required consumer protection specifications. Fake phone chargers can explode, fake medicine can cause severe and fatal health issues, and fake airplane parts can well… you get the idea.

One way that brand owners can protect themselves, and consumers, is by registering their trademarks and copyrights with US Customs and Border Protection and educating customs officers about details to look for when searching for potentially infringing goods. Many jurisdictions offer similar recordation services, such as China, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India, the EU, Canada, Mexico, and many others. Additionally, a number of countries, such as China, Singapore, and Thailand, will inspect both imported and exported goods, preventing counterfeit goods from entering or leaving the country.

Recordation fees are relatively low, and recordation offers a cost-effective way to protect both brand owners and consumers from potentially harmful counterfeit and pirated goods. If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of recordation in the US, or in other jurisdictions, we *arrr* happy to help!

​​​Kristyn Webb is the Group Leader of Fishman Stewart’s Copyright Practice Group, and is currently earning a Master’s Degree in Copyright Law at King’s College London.


Published September 8, 2023

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