Intellectual Property Rights
Trade and Service Marks
Importer of Counterfeit Goods 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.