It happens…all too often. The theft of so-called intellectual property - creative expressions like trade secrets, proprietary products and parts, literature, music, and films - comes at a high price. In addition to the very real impact on the rightful owners, it costs legitimate businesses billions of dollars in lost revenue, drives up consumer prices, robs the U.S. and global economies of vital jobs and tax revenues, reduces product safety, and sometimes even puts lives at risk.
One of the key weapons in combating this international crime problem is the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, or IPR Center. The center, which is hosted by ICE, brings together 17 different U.S. federal law enforcement agencies (including the FBI, ICE, and CBP) charged with investigating these violations, along with global partners from Canada and Mexico. It operates as a true task force-taking advantage of the expertise of its member agencies to conduct investigations, coordinate enforcement actions, share information, provide training and outreach, and build government/industry partnerships.
To help spread the word about its work and gather tips and information, the IPR Center has just launched a new standalone website at www.iprcenter.gov. The site includes an overview of the center, news releases, a photo/video gallery, published reports in an easy-to-use document viewer, and an electronic form for the general public, industry and trade associations, law enforcement, and government agencies to report intellectual property rights violations.