WASHINGTON — In an effort to bolster international partnerships and information sharing on intellectual property crime, the Federal Maritime Commission and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) joined the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) to become the center's 22nd and 23rd partner agencies.
During today's ceremony marking the alliance, IPR Center Acting Director Bruce Foucart was joined by the Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero, and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Deputy Assistant Inspector General Yvette Savoy to sign an agreement outlining cooperation protocols and the investigative-lead dissemination process.
Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero said "the Commission welcomes a partnership with the Center's initiative, which brings together key federal and international agencies in a task-force setting that enables a coordinated response to intellectual property and trade-related crimes. This interagency partnership will play a critical role in FMC's efforts to address and root out bad actors in the global supply chain."
The Federal Maritime Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation's international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC's mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.
The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) plays a key role in maintaining the integrity and accountability of America's postal service, its revenue and assets, and its employees. With $65 billion in revenue, the Postal Service is at the core of a $1 trillion mailing industry that employs more than 8 million people.
Delivering more than 160 billion pieces of mail yearly to 152 million delivery points and operating 31,000 postal facilities, America's postal system is one of the government's most trusted entities. The USPS OIG, an independent agency within the Postal Service under the general supervision of nine presidentially appointed governors, employs more than 1,125 auditors, investigators, and professional support personnel stationed in more than 100 offices to meet the challenge of preserving this trust.
These new partners greatly strengthen the IPR Center, which was founded in 2000, and serves as one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. The center uses the expertise of its 22 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 Federal Maritime Commission and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General joins the center's other 21 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
- European Police Office (Europol)
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Office of Investigations
To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit http://www.iprcenter.gov/.