20,457 Pairs of Counterfeit Christian Louboutin Shoes Seized at LA/LB Seaport

Worn by celebrities and royalty in the fashion world, the lacquered “red sole” in women’s shoes is a distinctive symbol of famous French designer Christian Louboutin. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) import specialists and officers have a different view of the lacquered “red sole”. They see a trademark protected by U.S. law.

The famous and trademarked Christian Louboutin signature sole

On August 14 and on July 27, CBP import specialists and officers assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport seized a total of five shipments arriving from China containing 20,457 pairs of ladies footwear, in violation of the Christian Louboutin trademark, with a domestic value of $57,490 and an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $18 million.

“This seizure illustrates the outstanding level of commodity expertise and vigilance of CBP import specialists and officers at our nation’s largest seaport. CBP maintains an aggressive and proactive posture on intercepting shipments containing counterfeit and pirated items,” said Todd C. Owen CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.

Often available on illegitimate websites and underground outlets, counterfeit high fashion commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers. The public is misguided into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount.

In fiscal year 2011, there were 1,020 trade seizures with a domestic value exceeding $37 million at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex.  This represents an 18 percent increase in the number of seizures from fiscal year 2010.  

CBP plays a critical role in enforcing trade laws, including the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Preventing the entry of counterfeit items is crucial to protecting consumers, as well as the economy of the United States. 

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