Federal agents seized thousands of pairs of fake sunglasses estimated to have a retail value of more than USD$12 million, it has been reported from Los Angeles, USA.
There were 78,600 pairs of sunglasses in the consignment with the domestic value of USD$79,920. They arrived at the Long Beach port in Los Angeles early this week in three shipments from China, which officials from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said, looked “confusingly similar” to designer brands such as Coach, Gucci and Emporio Armani.
“‘Confusingly similar’ means it is an imitation that is not an exact copy,” said agency spokesman Jaime Ruiz. “Usually they modify the logo, so from a distance you can’t tell the difference. They do this because they know the penalty for an exact copy is higher.”
“This is an excellent example of our continuing trade enforcement efforts at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. Stopping the importation of counterfeit and confusingly similar merchandise continues to be a top priority for CBP,” said Carlos Martel, Acting Director of field operations in Los Angeles.
The officials said counterfeit products may not be impact-resistant, may cause significant injury from shattering and may not offer proper UV protection
The officials said counterfeit products may not be impact-resistant, may cause significant injury from shattering and may not offer proper UV protection.
In fiscal year 2009, the U.S. ports authority seized 14,841 intellectual property rights, with a domestic value of $260.7 million according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The total value of these goods which presented potential safety or security risks was USD$32 million with counterfeit sunglasses accounting for 9 per cent of that total or USD$2.9 million.