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.

This story first appeared in the December 1, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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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