Just when you thought that legal issues in the fashion industry only happened in major cities like New York and Los Angeles, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Officers at Miami International Airport seized $6 million dollars worth of fake Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry on June 16.
The CBP Officers immediately selected the fake french luxury jewelry because “it bore a false, non-genuine copyright clearly piratical to the federally recorded copyright.” CBP Officers are specifically trained to distinguish authentic luxury goods from counterfeits according to an insider.
So, what exactly is a counterfeit good? Time for a Fashion Law Review! Leading authority, International Trademark Association, explains that “counterfeit goods are sold under a trademark that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the brand owner’s trademark for the same goods, without the approval or oversight of the trademark owner. ” [Emphasis added]
With CBP reporting seizure of $3.4m worth of counterfeit goods around the country each day in 2014, brands are protected from fake goods hitting the market at their expense. What if the fake goods made it to the actual Van Cleef & Arpels store in Florida? This could have been damaging to the brand’s representation. Luckily, CBP officers were on it!
Fashion Law Mapping will continue to monitor the story. Should Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry file suit? Leave a note in the comment section.