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So you just received a registration certificate for your trademark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Now what?

Another important form of protection for your trademark registration can be obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP is not only tasked with safeguarding America’s borders, but it’s also responsible for safeguarding America’s trademarks from overseas infringers.

CBP examines cargo entering the United States to ensure that it is in compliance with a variety of laws. This includes determining whether or not an importation infringes on someone else’s intellectual property rights. CBP maintains a database of trademarks, trade names and copyrights that have been recorded with CBP. Port personnel use this database for help in determining if there is a violation.

A trademark owner must be registered with the USPTO to record their trademark with CBP. There is a government fee of $190 per international class for each trademark recorded with CBP. Trademarks are recorded for a term of 20 years. The application may be filed electronically.

Beware of third party solicitations offering to record your trademarks with CBP for a fee. As mentioned above, a trademark owner must be registered with the USPTO to record their trademark with CBP. The solicitations are typically sent, however, shortly after a trademark application is filed. It can often take a year or more for an application to mature into a registration (if at all). The best case scenario is that these scammers sit on your money for a year waiting on a registration. The worst case scenario is that your application is rejected and you will be out hundred of dollars.

For more information about how the CBP safeguards trademarks, then check out this video: