Our company's shipment of Android Tablet has just seized by the US Custom.
Reason: counterfeit of Apple's Ipad.
here is the Trade Mark link: TESS -- Error
If it is legit, what happen to all other Tablets? Samsung's Galaxy etc.
Without being able to see the trademark reference it's not possible to comment on specifics.
However, what kind of tablets were in your shipment? If they were tablets that look exactly like iPads (same color, size, materials), and especially if they had Apple logos on them, the seizure would be totally understandable. On the other hand, if they were a different form-factor (say a 7" screen, plastic case, different color, etc), then US Customs is probably over-reaching. The usual test for intellectual property infringement is whether or not a reasonable person would confuse the product with another. If the tablets are a different size, color, shape, branding, etc., you'd have a good case for getting them released from Customs. If they are knock-offs that were intentionally designed to look exactly like iPads in order to capitalize on Apple's established brand, then they probably are illegal counterfeits in the United States.
Offworld is correct on all points. There are Android tablets which are 8inch in size and have an apple logo (reversed) on the back sold on Aliexpress. These would most certainly be confiscated by US Customs. It does sound like an enthusiastic Customs agent. It would not be the first or the last time I have seen counterfeit or enthusiasm by US Customs. Your only recourse is ask for a physical inspection for comparison. The resulting inspection will release in most instances quickly. BUT, do not expect speedy response. Especially during this holiday period. I have heard this sort of thing taking 90-120 days.
However, as is typical of our stupider-than-stupid USPTO they grant overly-broad and vague ownerships. If I read that Trademark office link correctly, it grants Apple exclusive rights to something awfully vague that pretty much EVERY phone or tablet on the market violates:
The mark consists of the configuration of a rectangular handheld mobile digital electronic device with rounded corners.
They aren't claiming anything about colors, the diagram shows dotted lines for the screen, buttons (including the round button on the front), ports, and speaker holes. Based on this, expect the Apple lawyers to start lawsuits against everyone in the industry, if they haven't already. Nobody should be able to claim rights to a geometric shape as simple as a rectangle with rounded corners for f***'s sake!
This reminds me of the Jurassic age of IBM clone wars, when MS claimed the spot for OS; if the Apple's Trade Mark "configuration of a rectangular handheld mobile digital electronic device with rounded corners" is enforceable, anybody making a Tablet computer would be in trouble!!!
@wilson13 - yes, it's about trademark, not patent. Apple is claiming the SHAPE (rectangle with rounded corners) for a handheld electronic device as a trademark. This is about the form of the device, not it's function.
Think of it like those air fresheners people hang from the rearview mirror of the car (the ones shaped like little evergreen trees). The shape itself is claimed as the trademark, a completely separate intellectual property claim from the function of it.
if yours looks like a carbon copy of the design then maybe it infringes it. i dont think its the fact that it has rounded corners, i think basically thats just describing the design of the ipad in words.
if it has rounded corners, a round button with a square on it, and essentially looks exactly like an ipad, then maybe thats what the issue is then. the wording "rounded corners" is probably just to support the diagram, but is not actually the trademark itself.
all tablets and phones for that matter look the same. its likely the customs official doesnt know about the tablet industry and thought it was an ipad knock off imo.