In recent months, the use of hand sanitizing stations has become imperative for many Florida businesses and other organizations. Hand sanitizing kiosks in convenient locations allow employees and visitors to comply with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of deadly viruses. Many have taken advantage of these stations to promote their business or share information by purchasing automated sanitizers with digital display screens. However, a recent customs seizure may have manufacturers of these devices concerned about their intellectual property.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in another state noticed a rail container that had arrived at their port of entry. Reports do not indicate the place of origin of the cargo, but it was destined for another city a short distance away. Officers inspected the container and found it held over 400 kiosks with automatic hand sanitizers and Android display. However, the stations were allegedly counterfeit.
CBP agents target IPR violations
Agents at the CBP estimate that genuine versions of the kiosks would cost a total of more than $1 million. A major component of the work CBP officials is to identify and seize items they believe violate the intellectual property rights of U.S. manufacturers. Counterfeit products are often of lower quality and carry a higher risk of defects than genuine items. Additionally, products that violate intellectual property laws often interfere with a copyright holder’s ability to profit from their unique concepts.
A customs seizure may slow down the ability for a business to operate profitably. However, Florida holders of original copyrights on products may be grateful when agents stop counterfeit items from hitting the markets. It may also give them an opportunity to take legal action against those who are infringing on their protected intellectual property.