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November 17, 2017Washington, DC, United StatesIntellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud

ICE teams with industry to fight IP theft

IPR Center holds collaborative symposium

WASHINGTON – The crackdown on counterfeiting intensified this week as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) welcomed Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) industry representatives from multiple sectors, and IP enforcers from across the federal government, to exchange intelligence and develop new strategies in the fight against IP crimes that support transnational criminal organizations and threaten the health and safety of American consumers.

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), led by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, held an IPR symposium Wednesday, titled “Solving the E-Commerce Puzzle,” to strengthen collaboration among IP enforcement agencies and brand owners. IPR Center member agencies participated in the event by moderating discussions, delivering opening remarks and creating displays that fostered industry outreach. Industry leaders from the automotive sector, ecommerce platforms, financial services and express consignment businesses were actively engaged during panel discussions centering on best practices and strategies about how to make online shopping safe for U.S. consumers and free of counterfeit items.

“We are committed to targeting and investigating individuals trafficking counterfeit goods that threaten the health and safety of the American public and support criminal organizations,” said acting IPR Center Director Nick Annan. “The creation of collaborative innovative strategies between industry and law enforcement will ensure that counterfeiters have nowhere to hide.”

The IPR Center has thrown its support behind several different industry and non-governmental efforts to curb counterfeiting. The agency assisted in the creation of the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council, a group consisting of major automotive brands that work together to counter IP theft. Representatives from the IPR Center routinely meet with key stakeholders in the e-commerce environment to coordinate against counterfeiting, collaborate with international law enforcement to extend investigations overseas and provide expertise to non-profit organizations poised to crackdown on copyright infringement.

"We all suffer real consequences when criminals traffic in counterfeit products. It impacts jobs, tax revenues, and consumer health and safety,” said Kasie Brill, senior director of brand protection at the Global Innovation Policy Center. “Working together with the National IPR Coordination Center, we can address these issues and reap the benefits of increased innovation and economic output across industry sectors and increase access to life-changing products for consumers."

The IPR Center – formally codified in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 – is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. The center uses the expertise of its 23 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.