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Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
05/15/2015

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IPR Center launches training to secure supply chains and combat counterfeit goods in the workplace

WASHINGTON – In an effort to bolster public education and private industry engagement regarding intellectual property crime, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) announced free training for acquisition professionals and the public on its website.

The training provides acquisition professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to combat the procurement of counterfeit goods in the workplace. The IPR Center’s new online training program for acquisition professionals will help companies secure their supply chains from counterfeit goods. By learning how to spot counterfeit goods and knowing what to do when these goods enter the supply chain, companies will better protect their consumers and ensure that the products they provide meet their standards. This acquisition training is a valuable tool for companies, state and local government officials, and anyone involved in the acquisition process. It can also serve to educate the public regarding the harms of purchasing counterfeit products.

Because of the systemic danger posed by counterfeiting and piracy, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has estimated to cost the global economy in excess of $250 billion per year and up to 750,000 American jobs, the IPR Center seeks to engage directly with public and private acquisition professionals to break the steady growth of trade in counterfeit goods. 

“Whether we’re discussing criminal organizations selling counterfeit medications and healthcare products, or batteries that could potentially overheat or explode, the end result remains the same; these are criminals that put profit ahead of the public interest,” said IPR Center Director Bruce Foucart. “This multi-dimensional threat requires a multi-dimensional response. No industry or country is immune from counterfeit products in their supply chain, nor can they address the threat alone. Only through increased cooperation among all those affected by counterfeits, as well as increased resources and improved tools can we tackle the growing and evolving nature of the threat. Furthermore, this threat also calls for better education regarding the risks it poses and how to defend against it.”

“The U.S. Chamber commends IPR Center Director Bruce Foucart and his team for its proactive approach to fighting counterfeits,” said David Hirschmann, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center. “It is important to give procurement professionals in both government and the private sector the tools to help identify counterfeit products and those who peddle counterfeit goods, and the IPR Center will help make this possible. By reducing the sale and use of counterfeit products, consumers, government workers, military personnel, and law enforcement officials will secure genuine items and be protected from dangerous fakes.”

Founded in 2000, the IPR Center 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.

The center employs a true task force model to optimize the roles and enforcement efforts of member agencies, while enhancing government-industry partnerships to support ongoing IPR enforcement initiatives. The center currently consists of other 23 partner agencies, which include:

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  • Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations
  • Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
  • Naval Criminal Investigative Service
  • Defense Criminal Investigative Service
  • U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit
  • Defense Logistics Agency, Office of Inspector General
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • General Services Administration, Office of Inspector General
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Inspector General
  • U.S. Department of State, Office of International Intellectual Property Enforcement
  • International Criminal Police Organization
  • Mexican Revenue Service
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police

To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit http://www.iprcenter.gov/.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/18/2015