By  on December 1, 2009

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs & Border Protection seizures for intellectual property rights violations dropped 4 percent to $260.7 million in fiscal year 2009 from $272.7 million a year earlier, the agency said.

In fiscal year 2008, Customs intellectual property rights actions spiked 38.6 percent compared with 2007. The number of seizure actions in 2009 declined 1 percent to 14,841 from 14,992 during fiscal year 2008. Last year, seizures increased 9.7 percent.

Counterfeit shoes were the top product seized, accounting for $99.7 million, or 38 percent, of all infringing goods, the same share as a year earlier. Jewelry appeared on the list of top commodities seized for the first time, accounting for 4 percent of the total.

China was again the top source for counterfeit goods, accounting for $204.7 million, or 79 percent, of all intellectual property rights seizures, Customs said.

Customs also said it hired an additional 2,600 border patrol agents in 2009, bringing the total to more than 20,000 agents.

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