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CBP Seeking IPR Protection to Prevent Misuse of C-TPAT Logo

Posted April 30, 2014

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has notified Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) members that the program has applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a trademark on its logo to protect the program against the misuse of the C-TPAT logo and deceptive business practices.
According to CBP, licensing agreements to use the C-TPAT logo will be issued free-of-charge. The C-TPAT Partner Agreement will be updated within the C-TPAT Portal to include clauses describing the proper use of the logo. When each Partner completes their annual profile review and re-signs the Agreement, they will also be agreeing to the proper use clauses. Until such time as a Partner’s next annual review, Partners are authorized to continue current uses of the trademark. Partners who are removed or withdrawn from the C-TPAT program must cease using the trademark. Note the display of the trademark does not denote program status; only the Status Verification Interface within the C-TPAT Portal verifies current program status.

Additionally, at this time the C-TPAT trademark is being licensed by CBP only to C-TPAT Partners, as a benefit for continued program membership. In addition, a method already exists to record the user agreement and identify the number of licensees. The C-TPAT program is developing a method external to the Portal to allow non-C-TPAT Partners to request and register use of the logo.