EGL USA requests customs border ban on illegal certificates
EGL USA announced at
the recent JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas that it has
requested the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and local
authorities to assist it in preventing the importation and distribution
of gemstones accompanied by illegal EGL gem grading certificates,
which violate its trademarks in the U.S.
EGL USA is the exclusive owner of the EGL trademarks in the U.S.
and in Canada and does not authorize the use of these marks by any
laboratories other than the four official North American EGL labs--New
York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver-that make up The EGL USA
Group, according to the lab's attorney, Robert Hanlon, of Coudert
"U.S. trademark law, the Lanham Act, is designed to protect consumers
by making sure the products they buy are genuine. This statute forbids
anyone from using a company's trademarks unless that use is specifically
authorized by the company. The Customs laws of the U.S. also permit
a company to record its trademarks with Customs and to bar the import
of goods that bear infringing trademarks," said Hanlon.
EGL USA will also alert trade magazine publishers about accepting
advertising from a lab or other industry entity that is infringing
on the company's trademark. If the magazine is oriented to the trade
or consumers in the U.S. or Canada, running an EGL advertisement
from a lab or other industry entity outside the U.S. or Canada would
be considered a violation of trademark law and therefore illegal.
Since 1986, EGL USA has been a privately owned independent gem lab
with no formal business relationship with any labs outside North
America, says Mark Gershburg, EGL USA's Director. "We have taken
legal steps to uphold our trademark and brand in North America in
order to protect our customers from illegal certificates and to
help them distinguish between our labs, which are under the jurisdiction
and guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission, and offshore
labs that are not directly subject to U.S. or Canadian law."
The EGL USA Group has worked very hard to build up a reputation
for high quality, and we stand behind our work, says Gershburg.
"It's critical that the marketplace can recognize genuine EGL certificates
issued by our labs, the only EGL certificates that are permitted
to be issued and distributed in the U.S. and Canada." The trade
and consumers can confirm that their certificates were issued by
a member of The EGL USA Group in three ways:
1) Look for "US" or "CA" preceding the certificate number;
2) The words "A Member of The EGL USA Group" will appear on each
legitimate certificate; or
3) At www.EGLUSA.com, certificate holders can verify their certificate
numbers 24 hours a day. For further questions about certificate
verification, call in the U.S. 212-730-7380 Ext. 240 or in Canada,