DHS Agents Go On a Panty Raid

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“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”

By Tim Cushing @ TechDirt

Peregrine Honig runs a lingerie shop in Kansas City. Not coincidentally, her shop was raided by DHS agents just as the World Series commenced. The target? “Boy shorts” sporting an approximation of the Kansas City Royals logo as well as the cheekily-applied phrase (yes, pun completely intended) “Take the crown.”For purely illustrative purposes, here’s the last known photo of the item now in the temporary possession of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

panties

They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn’t use the logo.

Which she technically didn’t. It was her own drawing, but the DHS agents pointed out that “connecting the K and C” turned it into the protected property of a major league baseball franchise.

Up until the fortuitously-timed DHS raid, Honig had experienced no problems with law enforcement.

“We’d had so many cops come in and buy these,” Peregrine Honig says.

The DHS has yet to comment on its pre-World Series panty raid. Neither has ICE, which is also usually fairly active in the days leading up to major sporting events. Neither agency has bothered to issue a press release about the hard work done in service to the multibillion-dollar entities currently attempting to “take the crown.”

Honig, however, has provided plenty of color commentary, including the fact that these particular DHS agents didn’t appear to be reveling in their petty IP enforcement efforts.

She says you could tell “they [DHS agents] felt like they were kicking a puppy.”

At least there’s still a little shame left in overzealous trademark enforcement. This is part of what your $39 billion a year in mandatory contributions gets you: a few dozen pairs of underwear seized, most likely at a cost exceeding the retail value of the “counterfeit” goods.

This article originally appeared on TechDirt.