Trademark infringement helping the needy?

March 28, 2007
Post by Blog Staff

In November, 2006, approximately $200,000 worth of action figures were detained at the United States-Canada border by US Customs and Border Protection. They were stopped under the authority granted to the US Customs and Border Protection office, to prevent importation of goods that violate another company's trademark or copyright rights. In order to take advantage of these enforcement powers, a company that owns a trademark registered with the USPTO or a copyright registered with the US Copyright Office must record its rights with US Customs. In this case, the story not only had a good outcome for the trademark owner, but also for children in three communities in Montana, Great Falls, Billings, and Helena. This is because the trademark owner, instead of asking that the seized action figures (3,876 of them) be destroyed, authorized them to be given to Toys for Tots, the Marine Corps charity that collects toys for underprivileged children. The action figures will be divided among the three communities' Toys for Tots programs. Unfortunately, the article does not mention which company owned the trademark, and the figures are just described as "12-inch figures, dressed in military clothing," so it's unclear which company made the decision to allow the counterfeit toys to be donated instead of destroyed. However, it was a nice gesture to use the power of trademark law to help some less fortunate—an opportunity that doesn't come along in trademark law very often.

Post Categories

Comments (0)
Post a Comment

Captcha Image
Return to the Filewrapper Blog

Search Posts


The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.


McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. provides this blog for general informational purposes only. By using this blog, you agree that the information on this blog does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created between you and McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. Do not consider this blog to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified, licensed attorney. While we try to revise this blog on a regular basis, it may not reflect the most current legal developments. We consciously refrain from expressing opinions on this blog and instead, offer it as a form of information and education, however if there appears an expression of opinion, realize that those views are indicative of the individual and not of the firm as a whole.

Connect with MVS

Enter your name and email address to recieve the latest news and updates from us and our attorneys.

Subscribe to: MVS Newsletter

Subscribe to: Filewrapper® Blog Updates

  I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C.