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FTZ:  Foreign Trade Zone/s, a general purpose 2,000-acre industrial park with warehouses (providing leasable storage and distribution space to users) and land lots on which FTZ users can construct their own facilities. FTZs operate as public utilities and provide uniform treatment to all FTZ users.


Board:  U.S. Foreign-Trade Board (“Board”) authorizing/ licensing FTZ grantees, sites and production activity, oversees FTZ grantees' compliance with the statutory regulations, and may limit or deny FTZ use on public interest grounds. The Board does not award a duty rate but may allow FTZ activity that results in a finished product having customs classification different than the customs classification of a component admitted to FTZ. The duty rates applicable to specific trade agreements are statutorily determined and not subject to the Board’s decisions.


CBP:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (of U.S. Department of Homeland Security) “activates'' and supervises FTZ, and enforces anti-trust, intellectual property, consumer protection, and other U.S. laws.


Subzone:  A grantee-sponsored specific purpose/ use private plant site (which is not tied to a specific company) may be established, if the existing FTZ (space limit that could be activated) cannot serve the manufacturer’s needs, as per the Board’s finding that the requested operation meets public interest test and cannot be conducted in the existing FTZ. A subzone can have multiple sites.


Customs Duty: A border tax on foreign/ imported goods paid by the importer of record and it could be 20% or more of the product’s declared FOB value (not including freight and insurance).


Excise tax: federal or state taxes (per unit or volume) on the sale, manufacture, or goods themselves (paid in addition to a sales tax and Value Added Tax, being ad valorem tax), such as tobacco, fuels, alcohol and other products negatively affecting public health or safety, or national defense.


Tariffs: An official codified system / schedule showing the government-imposed duty rates levied on particular imports or exports.


Ad valorem taxes: taxes based on the property monetary value, and not per a number of items or measurements (kgs, gallons, etc.).


Prospective Notification: Applicant’s notification to the Board in advance of any new production activity including use of new materials/ components in a previously approved manufacturing operation. Board must process received notifications within 120 days.


Direct Delivery: 24/7 goods’ movement from a port of entry into FTZ without the Customs’ clearance.


Weekly Entry: FTZ manufacturers and distributors use one customs entry per week (instead of one per each imported goods’ shipment) for goods’ clearance (CBP release of merchandise) prior to their anticipated shipment (within 7 days) from FTZ into the U.S. commerce.


Federal Agencies Regulating border crossing goods: Food and Drug Administration (safety and security of food supply, human and veterinary drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, and radiation-emitting products); Environmental Protection Agency (the manufacture or import of chemicals); Department of Commerce (import or export of natural gas); Consumer Product Safety Commission (consumer products’ hazardous conditions); Department of Agriculture (food, natural resources, animal, and agricultural health); and Federal Trade Commission (labeling of fur, textile and wool products); Fish and Wildlife Service; Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, U.S. Customs and Border Protection , and other federal agencies.


International Trade Forums: U.S. International Trade Commission (dumped and subsidized imports, and intellectual property rights’ infringement); Federal Maritime Commission (international ocean transportation claims); U.S. International Trade Court (customs and international laws); Federal Courts (intellectual property and international trade decisions); and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit adjudicate cross-border trade conflicts. 


A trademark is defined in the Federal Trademark Act, Lanham Act (Sec. 45, 15 USCA Sec. 1127) as “...any word, name, symbol or device or any combination thereof adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify his goods and distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others”. For example: “Winston” cigarettes, “Dell” computers, “Folgers” coffee, or “Xerox” copiers. Brand name is synonymous with a trademark. A service mark is “a mark used in the sale or advertising of services to identify the services of one person and distinguish them from the services of one person and distinguish them from the services of others”. For example: “Amencan Express”, “Menill Lynch”, “Allstate”. Trade namesand “commercial names” include all names identifying businesses, vocations, occupations, and organizations engaged in trade or commerce. For example: “GE”, “Ford”, “Nestle”, or “Westin”.


Trade secrets and know-how are confidentially preserved business information, technological process, formula, data compilation, unusual use of known components, method, or technique not known to the general public. Their duration is unlimited as long as the secrets are kept secret. Registration is not required. Items Covered by “Know-How” Concept and Licenses:


  1. Technological (e.g. packaging technology), Business, Manufacturing And Engineering Methods or Process

  2. In-House Developed Software (Customized Applications, Source Code, Data Mining, Payment, Third-Party Software, Etc.)

  3. Plant Design

  4. Employee Expertise

  5. “Blind Alleys” (R&D Results Not Materialized In Products And Services)

  6. Abandoned Technologies And Products Acquired In Mergers & Acquisitions But Not Used

  7. Open Purchase Orders

  8. Non-Contractual Customer Relationships


Protectable Rights To Do or Use Anything arising from Contracts or Law are exemplified as follows:


  1. Non-Compete Agreements

  2. Franchise, Royalty and Licensing Agreements

  3. Permits

  4. Supply and Service

  5. Rights to Use Land, Water, Space, Property, In-ground Resources

  6. Long-Term Leases

  7. Service Sold and Product Backlog

  8. Tax Credits

  9. Construction Agreements and Permits

  10. Management

  11. Service or Supply

  12. Operating and Broadcasting Rights

  13. Executive’s Employment

  14. Advertising

  15. Sales Contracts

  16. Subscriptions

  17. Publishing Rights (literary works, movie and musical composition rights);

  18. Distribution rights


Patents. A patent gives “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in or “importing” the invention into the United States. Patent application publication gives an applicant provisional rights to obtain damages for pre-patent grant infringement from infringers of a published application claim if actual notice is given to the infringer by the applicant and a patent issues from that application. A patent is a government permit to maintain a temporary monopoly over an invention. There are three types of U.S. patents:


  1. Utility Patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful method (including a business method), process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof for 20 years from the date of filing a patent application in the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

  2. Design Patents protect new and non-obvious ornamental design (i.e. its appearance but not its structure or function) for an external appearance of the device, object or article of manufacture for 14 years fro the date of filing in the USPTO.

  3. Plant Patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually (not from seeds) reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant


Copyrights. An original work of authorship, fixed in a tangible medium of expression for communication to other, either directly or through a device, can be copyrighted. A copyright protects only the form of expression but not the underlying ideas, principles or facts, which therefore can be appropriated by anyone. For instance, facts contained in a copyrighted book can be used without any obligation to the author, but copying the sentences in the book is improper. Computer programs may enjoy protection under the patent (if used in combination with a structure or a process), copyright (but not covering the undelying techniques) and trade secret laws.


Copyright protects unpublished and published works. There is no a universal international copyright as each country’s laws govern protection against the unau­thorized of works in accordance with international treaties. No publication, placement of a copyright notice (the symbol ©) on a copyrighted work, registration or other action are required but registration with the U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress is needed to seek infringement-caused statutory damages and attorney's fees. A copyright arises automatically upon creation of the work and lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Illustration of items protectable by Copyrights:


  1. Musical and Dramatic Works

  2. Videos, Movies, Television Programs and Other Audiovisual Works

  3. Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Translated Text and Literary Products

  4. Pictures, Paintings, Graphic and Sculptural Works

  5. Sound Recordings

  6. Ballet, Pantomime, Opera and Choreographic Works

  7. Product and Packaging Shapes

  8. Sculptures, Figurines, and Toys

  9. Architectural Designs

  10. Celebrity Name and Image Rights

  11. Labels Having Some Value as a Composition

  12. Commercial Advertisements, Posters, Illustrations, TV Commercials

  13. Manuals and Parts Catalogs (i.e. their Arrangement and Manner of Expression)

  14. Promotional Literature and Greeting Cards

  15. Maps

  16. Computer Program’s “Menu” Screens, Screen Images, Text Lines, Sequence, and Organization

  17. Description of technological processes and business methods




© 2017, Parad Law Offices, P.C.

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