IPR Violations in CyberSpace

IPR and the WorldWideWeb

Intellectual property crime encompasses many areas, including copyright and trademark infringement, counterfeit goods, and television signal/cable theft. our top priorities are two-fold. First, the theft of trade secrets—which affects not only a company’s bottom line, but also American competitiveness around the world. And second, product infringements that can impact the health and safety of consumers, such as counterfeit parts for aircraft, cars, electronics, and health products. It’s an age-old crime: stealing. But it’s not about picking a pocket or holding up a bank. It’s robbing people of their ideas, inventions, and creative expressions—what’s called intellectual property—everything from trade secrets and proprietary products and parts to movies and music and software. It’s a growing threat—especially with the rise of digital technologies and Internet file sharing networks. And much of the theft takes place overseas, where laws are often lax and enforcement more difficult. All told, intellectual property theft costs businesses billions of dollars a year and robs the nation of jobs and lost tax revenues. Preventing intellectual property theft is a priority of criminal investigative program. We specifically focus on the theft of trade secrets and infringements on products that can impact consumers’ health and safety, such as counterfeit software and electronic parts. Key to our success is linking the considerable resources and efforts of the private sector with law enforcement partners on local, state, federal, and international levels. Information with independent economic value, like blueprints, chemical formulas, research and development, marketing strategies, and manufacturing processes that the owner has taken reasonable steps to keep confidential. In 1996, Congress passed the Economic Espionage Act to protect trade secrets from criminals and foreign governments in order to preserve the health and competitiveness of the economy.

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