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Homeland Security

Obama Administration Announces Multi-Agency Effort to Enhance Intellectual Property Protection

Release Date: 
June 22, 2010

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Highlights DHS’ Efforts to Combat Counterfeiting and Piracy Crimes

Washington, D.C.—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today joined Vice President Joe Biden to announce the Obama administration’s Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property (IPR) Enforcement—a multi-agency effort to enhance intellectual property protection by strengthening efforts to combat civil and criminal violations of trademark and copyright infringement.

“The products of American ingenuity—from life-saving medicines and vaccines to state of the art technologies—fuel our nation’s progress and economy,” said Secretary Napolitano. “DHS is committed to disrupting and dismantling the criminal organizations that promote counterfeiting and piracy that threaten the livelihoods of American businesses and workers.”

The full plan, available here calls for improved communication between law enforcement and rights holders, industry, and international partners and the general public; enhanced international and domestic IPR cooperation; close collaboration with the importing community to find effective, cooperative solutions; dedicating resources to building and improving data collection for enforcement of IPR laws; a secure supply chain and improved data collection—and will utilize the IPR resources currently employed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. Secret Service.

The ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) brings together key federal agencies including ICE, CBP, the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the General Service Administration Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the Government of Mexico Tax & Revenue Service, and works closely with the Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section to combat IPR violations that endanger the public health and safety, threaten our economic stability, and impact the competitiveness of U.S. industry.

Since the beginning of 2010, the IPR Center’s efforts have resulted in 166 criminal arrests, 56 indictments, 34 convictions and 1,078 seizures valued at more than $358 million.

CBP also plays a vital role in IPR enforcement—focusing on improving risk analysis to target and interdict shipments of fake goods while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade; identifying and disrupting business practices linked to importing counterfeit goods; working with IPR holders to protect their rights; and collaborating with other government agencies, foreign customs administrations and international organizations to strengthen IPR enforcement around the world.

The Secret Service is responsible for investigating violations of laws relating to counterfeiting of obligations and securities of the United States, including access device fraud, financial institution fraud, identity theft, computer fraud; and computer-based attacks on our nation's financial, banking and critical infrastructure.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

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