U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized a record number of 34,143 shipments of goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in FY2017. IPR seizures increased 8 percent over FY2016 and, for the second year in a row, CBP and ICE seized more than 30,000 shipments of counterfeit and pirated products. The total estimated manufacturers’ suggested retail price would have been $1.2 billion had the products been genuine.
“The theft of intellectual property and trade in counterfeit and pirated goods causes harm to an innovation-based economy by threatening the competitiveness of businesses and the livelihoods of workers,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “Another record-breaking year of IPR seizures highlights the vigilance of CBP and ICE personnel in preventing counterfeit goods from entering our stream of commerce and their dedication to protecting the American people.”
As the U.S. border enforcement agencies charged with safeguarding the public against IPR violations, CBP and ICE have worked together closely on IPR related enforcement. In FY2017, cooperation between these two agencies led to 457 arrests, while ICE pursued and obtained 288 indictments with 242 convictions related to intellectual property crimes.