NEW! Intellectual Property Theft Enforcement Program (IPEP): Program Performance Report, January-June 2013
See the IP Theft Campaign PSAs and Banner Ads below!
BJA manages the Intellectual Property (IP) Theft Enforcement Program in coordination with the Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Task Force on Intellectual Property. This program is designed to build the capacity of state and local criminal justice systems to address criminal IP enforcement through increased prosecution, prevention, training, and technical assistance availability. The IP Enforcement Program covers expenses related to performing criminal enforcement operations; educating the public and law enforcement professionals about IP crime to prevent, deter, and identify criminal violations of IP laws; establishing task forces to conduct investigations, forensic analyses, and prosecutions; and acquiring equipment to conduct investigations and forensic analysis of evidence.The IP Theft Enforcement Grant Program has enhanced the capacity of jurisdictions across the United States to detect and respond to IP crimes in their communities, and has launched a national training and outreach initiative to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance and cost of IP theft. Applications to the IP Enforcement Grant Program increased 170 percent from 2010 to 2011, which indicates the success of these educational efforts and that state and local law enforcement agencies recognize the importance of devoting resources to this issue.OverviewIP crime refers to the violation of criminal laws that protect copyrights, patents, trademarks, other forms of intellectual property, and trade secrets, both in the United States and abroad. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has made the protection of intellectual property a major law enforcement priority. DOJ recognizes that innovation is a central pillar of our nation's economy and crucial to enabling American businesses to remain competitive in a global market. Our entrepreneurs require protection from criminals here and abroad who would copy their creations with less expensive or dangerous imitations. Improving our nation's capacity to respond to IP crime is also crucial to the protection of the American public from the exposure to dangerous and deadly goods, including counterfeit pharmaceuticals, substandard automobile parts, and lead-tainted jewelry.Research has shown that IP crimes are closely related to and support other crimes, including violent crime. A report by the Rand Corporation found that "Counterfeiting is widely used to generate cash for diverse criminal organizations. In the case of DVD film piracy, criminal groups are moving to control the entire supply chain, from manufacture to distribution to street sales, consolidating power over this lucrative black market and building substantial wealth and influence in virtually every region of the globe. Counterfeiting is a threat not only to the global information economy, but also to public safety and national security."1 The provision of increased resources to state and local law enforcement to address IP crime may exponentially affect the ability of organized criminal networks to engage in other types of crimes that affect the health and safety of all Americans.In addition, IP crimes pose a serious threat to the health and safety of every American. Counterfeit and pirated products can be harmful, and sometimes deadly, to consumers. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals, foods, technologies, and other goods are not inspected or approved by regulatory bodies, and therefore do not comply with established safety regulations. For instance, investigations have revealed that counterfeit toothpastes have been made with chemicals found in antifreeze; counterfeit brake pads have been manufactured using sawdust, kitty litter, and dried grass as their primary components. Public safety is assured not only by directly combating organized criminal networks, but by educating and enabling law enforcement officers to recognize the threats that every day products pose to the public when they are produced and sold outside of the bounds of legal commerce.Finally, IP is a central component of the U.S. economy, and the United States is an acknowledged global leader in its creation. According to the United States Trade Representative, "Americans are the world's leading innovators, and our ideas and intellectual property are key ingredients to our competitiveness and prosperity."2 Ensuring that existing IP laws are aggressively enforced is in the interests of American economic prosperity, job creation, and economic recovery.IP Theft Campaign Public Service Announcements (PSA) and Banner AdsOnline Video
Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Grant Award Event at Towson University on October 3, 2012Attorney General Eric Holder, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein delivered remarks at Towson University in Towson, MD on the Department's increased commitment to the protection of intellectual property by announcing $2.4 million in grant awards to 13 jurisdictions nationwide to assist with the enforcement of criminal laws related to intellectual property theft. Read more
BJA Funding SupportBJA funds state and local projects that emphasize collaboration and coordination with all relevant enforcement organizations, including prosecutors, multijurisdictional task forces, and appropriate federal agencies (i.e., local Federal Bureau of Investigation departments and U.S. Attorneys' Offices) in the enforcement of IP laws.
Related InformationRead News Releases from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Intellectual Property Rights.
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), supported by BJA, developed a research-based public outreach campaign to educate the public on IP crimes in general, particularly about the health and safety risks that result from IP crime. To learn more about this pending campaign and NCPC, visit the NCPC web site.
EligibilityEligible applicants for the IP Enforcement Program include state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies; municipal and public education institutions; and prosecutors. Multijurisdictional task forces specific to the enforcement and forensic analysis of confiscated evidence of intellectual property crimes are also eligible.
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BJA offers training and technical assistance on the subject of IP crime through the National Association of Attorneys General and the National White Collar Crime Center. These two organizations have partnered to expand the delivery of joint law enforcement and prosecutor training on IP crime issues and responses. This training is free of charge to criminal justice professionals.
National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)
National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Intellectual Property Theft
National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): Intellectual Property Task Force
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Los Angeles City Attorney Cracks Down on Counterfeiters
City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office secured a permanent injunction banning two chronic counterfeit merchants from returning to the Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles. The defendants were also assessed a $26.2 million penalty, the largest counterfeiting judgment in the city’s history. The Deputy City Attorney who prosecuted the case is funded through a BJA grant that supports the Los Angeles Counterfeit Abatement Prosecution Program.
LA City Attorney Secures $3.9 Million Judgment Against Merchant of Counterfeit Goods
On January 15, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office secured a $3.9 million judgment and permanent injunction against a downtown merchant for the sale and possession of counterfeit goods. The judgment—secured by the Deputy City Attorney through the BJA-funded Counterfeit Abatement Prosecution Program—is the largest amount ever secured by the City Attorney’s Office in a counterfeiting case.
Los Angeles City Attorney Wins $3 Million Judgment in Counterfeit Abatement Case
In Los Angeles, a BJA-funded Intellectual Property Theft Enforcement site, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced his office won a $3 million judgment in a counterfeit abatement case. He also announced that his office filed five criminal cases involving the sale or manufacture of counterfeit merchandise in the city, obtaining two guilty pleas.
National Training and Technical Assistance: Intellectual Property Enforcement Program FY 2014 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 03/17/2014, 11:59 PMBJA is seeking a provider to deliver, nationwide, a wide range of training and technical assistance services to law enforcement agencies participating in the Intellectual Property Enforcement Program. Solicitation
Intellectual Property Enforcement Program: Protecting Public Health, Safety, and the Economy from Counterfeit Goods and Product Piracy FY 2014 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 03/13/2014, 11:59 PMThe program is designed to provide national support and improve the capacity of state, local, and tribal criminal justice systems to address intellectual property criminal enforcement, including prosecution, prevention, training, and technical assistance.Solicitation
Protecting Public Health, Safety and the Economy from Counterfeit Goods and Product Piracy: The Intellectual Property Theft Enforcement Program FY 2012 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 03/02/2012, 11:59 PMThis program is designed to provide national support and improve the capacity of state, local, and tribal criminal justice systems to address intellectual property criminal enforcement, including prosecution, prevention, training, and technical assistance.Solicitation
Intellectual Property Crime Enforcement Program FY 2011 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 02/10/2011, 11:59 PMThis program is designed to provide national support and improve the capacity of state, local, and tribal criminal justice systems to address intellectual property criminal enforcement, including prosecution, prevention, training, and technical assistance.Solicitation
Intellectual Property Crime Enforcement Program FY 2010 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 05/18/2010, 08:00 PMThis program is designed to provide national support and improve the capacity of state, local, and tribal criminal justice systems to address intellectual property criminal enforcement, including prosecution, prevention, training, and technical assistance.Solicitation
Intellectual Property Enforcement, Training, and Technical Assistance Program FY 2009 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 06/25/2009, 08:00 PMThis program is designed to provide national support and improve the capacity of state and local criminal justice systems to address criminal intellectual property enforcement, including prosecution, prevention, training, and technical assistance.Solicitation
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