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Blog: Combating Intellectual Property Theft

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Today, the Administration unveiled the 2013 Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Joint Strategic Plan which will help guide the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to combat intellectual property theft in the next three years. Over the past four years, DHS has worked closely with the White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) and our interagency partners to further strengthen intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement, and promote American innovation and economic growth.

The 2013 Joint Strategic Plan builds on our progress and lays out 26 specific Action Items to strengthen our intellectual property protections, increase enforcement efforts against counterfeiting networks, and encourage multi-national cooperation to protect intellectual property.

The release of the Strategic Plan today coincides with the three-year anniversary of "Operation In Our Sites," the first coordinated and sustained law enforcement effort to target websites that distribute counterfeit merchandise and pirated goods. Since its inception, Federal law enforcement agencies, have conducted 13 operations, resulting in the seizure of more than 1,700 domain names of infringing websites and over $3 million from targeted sites.

Our work combating intellectual property theft is strengthened through our collaboration with our international law enforcement partners. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are working with the World Customs Organization (WCO) to develop a Cargo Targeting System (CTS), and build on the success of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) operation to expand enforcement efforts to cover counterfeit pharmaceuticals and electronic components.

Additionally, DHS is working in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Postal Service, to develop and implement a program to obtain advance data from international postal operators and express carrier companies to improve targeting.

- Since FY 2009, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has significantly increased its enforcement activities, including a 71% increase in intellectual property cases, 159% increase in arrests, 264% increase in indictments, and 103 % increase in convictions.
- Since FY 2010, ICE's IPR Center's number of invesĀ­tigative leads submitted by field offices and partner agencies increased by 764%.
- Since FY 2009, CBP and ICE HSI intellectual property seizures have increased by 53 %, with 24,792 seizures carried out in FY 2011--the highest total number of seizures in a year to date.
- To date, 21 agenĀ­cies, including four international partners, have partnered together through the IPR Center to leverage their combined resources, skills, and authorities to better combat intellectual property theft and dismantle the criminal organizations seeking to profit from the manufacturing, importation, and sale of counterfeit merchandise and pirated works.


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