Counterfeit Goods Importer Liable

Intellectual Property Rights

Trade and Service Marks – Counterfeit Goods

Counterfeit Goods Importer Liable Even Though Product Not Offered by Trade Mark Owner

U.S. v. Able Time, Inc., 545 F.3d 824, 88 U.S.P.Q.2d 1510, (9th Cir. Cal.) Sep 25, 2008) (NO. 06-56033)

U.S. Customs filed civil penalty action against importer for importing counterfeit watches that bore trademark of a company that did not make watches. The District Court granted summary judgment for importer on the theory that the Tariff Act only covered counterfeit goods – not goods that merely misappropriated a trademark. U.S. Customs appealed.

The Ninth Circuit reversed holding that the Tariff Act was broad enough to cover misappropriated trademarks.

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