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Operation In Our Sites

May 22, 2014

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), based in Virginia and managed by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), is leading the government's response to intellectual property theft (IP theft), a crime that costs American industry lost revenue and jobs every year. Operation In Our Sites specifically targets websites and their operators that distribute counterfeit and pirated items over the Internet, including counterfeit pharmaceuticals and pirated movies, television shows, music, software, electronics, and other merchandise as well as products that threaten public health and safety.

IP thieves are increasingly using the Internet as a means of advertising, promoting, offering and selling their illegal products. Through Operation In Our Sites, the IPR Center and its partner agencies aggressively pursue those who steal from American businesses and ultimately the American workers who work to produce the real goods and products. IP theft results in lost American jobs, stolen business profits, and lost pension and health care payments. Perhaps most seriously, it creates potential risk to consumers' health and safety.

Those selling counterfeit and pirated products, whether in a storefront or on the Web, are violating federal criminal laws. If the IPR Center receives credible information about intellectual property rights violations and our law enforcement investigation determines there has been criminal wrongdoing, we will work with the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute, convict, and punish individuals as well as seize website domain names, profits, and other property from IP thieves.

Operation In Our Sites' enforcement actions involve federal law enforcement investigating and developing evidence to obtain seizure warrants from federal judges. The web site domain names are then seized pursuant to the federal seizure warrants and re-directed to display a seizure notice as opposed to offering the content or goods that violate U.S. copyrights or trademarks.

The IPR Center consists of 17 key U.S. and international agencies involved in intellectual property theft enforcement. In addition, the IPR Center works closely with the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, DOJ's Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section as well as U.S. Attorney's offices around the country.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/03/2014