20 August 2019TrademarksRory O'Neill

US customs reports 112% rise in value of seized computer parts

The value of IP-related customs seizures in the US rose to $1.4 billion last year, a new report has claimed.

The figures, released by the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), are based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), or what the seized goods would be worth had they been genuine.

The MSRP value of the seized goods marked an increase of $200 million, or 14% from 2017, while the number of seizures fell marginally by 333 to 33,810.

There was a more dramatic increase in the value of seized goods with respect to certain sectors, however.

According to the report, the MSRP value of counterfeit computer network equipment rose by 112% to $15.5 million last year from 2017, accompanied by a 25% increase in the total number of seizures of such goods.

Watches and jewellery products accounted for 44% of the total value of IP-related seizures in the US in 2018, an increase from 38% in 2017.

The MSRP value of seized pharmaceutical and personal care goods almost doubled in 2018, rising to $131.5 million compared to $70 million the previous year.

According to CBP, China was the reported country of origin for 46% of seizures last year, with Hong Kong accounting for 41%.

Measured by MSRP value, CBP said that China accounted for 54% of the $1.4 billion worth of goods seized last year.

This means that China was the reported country of origin of products accounting for just over half of the total value of seized goods.

Hong Kong followed in second place with 31%.

Steve Francis, director of the US’s National IP Rights Coordination Center, said the figures make a “compelling case for stepping up efforts to inform and educate the public about the risks counterfeit goods pose to public health and safety”.

The National IP Rights Coordination Center is part of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The CBP report’s valuation accounts for IP-related seizures, including counterfeit goods and seized goods that infringe copyright.

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