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Intellectual Property Rights
06/07/2012

Counterfeit NBA merchandise seized from Oklahoma City stores

OKLAHOMA CITY — Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), officers from Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD), and representatives from the National Basketball Association (NBA) seized counterfeit NBA merchandise, especially related to the Oklahoma Thunder basketball team, from four local stores Wednesday.

The stores had been previously identified as possibly selling counterfeit NBA items.

Fifty-eight counterfeit clothing items were seized from one store. Owners at three other stores voluntarily turned 138 clothing items over to NBA representatives. Some of the counterfeit items seized included the following; women's sweat suits, women's polo shirts, women's t-shirts and children's t-shirts.

The store owners will not be prosecuted. No criminal organization has been identified with producing the counterfeit items.

"Our HSI counterfeit enforcement operations with our partners serve a variety of important purposes," said David M. Marwell, special agent in charge of HSI Dallas. "They help protect American jobs by enforcing trademarks, they protect consumers from inferior merchandise and they prevent funding potential criminal organizations."

About the IPR Center

The ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) in Arlington, Va., stands at the forefront of the U.S. government's response to global intellectual property (IP) theft.

As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy, and the nation's war fighters.

IP theft is not a victimless crime. It threatens U.S. businesses and robs hard-working Americans of their jobs, which negatively impacts the economy. It can also pose serious health and safety risks to consumers, and oftentimes, it fuels global organized crime.