U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R – Texas) introduced the Customs Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2012 earlier in December to reform U.S. customs procedures, which includes measures to assist IP rights holders in trade-related enforcement activities. Particularly, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would be given enhanced authority to provide IP rights holders information on imported merchandise, imported merchandise packaging, and samples and digital images of such items, for the sole purpose of determining whether such items contain indications of the unauthorized use of copyrights and federal trademarks. Based on this authority, the CBP would given enhanced bonding authority to assist in these reporting efforts.
The bill is currently being evaluated by House subcommittees, with a roll call vote date yet to be announced. A copy of the proposed bill is available here.