Silicon Valley, Mind Your Manners–A Squad of Intellectual Property Cops Arrive at the Justice Department
Let’s make short work of this: Yesterday, the Justice Department named 15 new Assistant U.S. Attorneys to the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property program, as well as 20 Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents, to police intellectual property violations, both domestic and international.
The new FBI agents nearly double the number working on copyright issues and will be part of “intellectual property squads,” located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Why all the muscle? Pressure from the entertainment industry no doubt.
Here’s the full press release from the DOJ:
Department of Justice Announces New Assistant United States Attorneys and FBI Agents to Combat Intellectual Property Crimes
WASHINGTON, April 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/–As part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing initiative to confront intellectual property (IP) crimes, Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler announced today the appointment of 15 new Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) positions and 20 FBI Special Agents to be dedicated to combating domestic and international IP crimes.
These new positions–announced on the 10th annual World Intellectual Property Day–are part of the department’s continued commitment to combat the growing number of IP crimes here at home, and abroad. The new AUSA positions will be part of the department’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) program.
“Intellectual property law enforcement is central to protecting our nation’s ability to remain at the forefront of technological advancement, business development and job creation,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler. “The department, along with its federal partners throughout the Administration, will remain ever vigilant in this pursuit as American entrepreneurs and businesses continue to develop, innovate and create.”
The 15 new Assistant U.S. Attorneys will work closely with the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) to aggressively pursue high tech crime, including computer crime and intellectual property offenses. The new positions will be located in California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The 20 new FBI Special Agents announced today will be deployed to specifically augment four geographic areas with intellectual property squads, and increase investigative capacity in other locations around the country where IP crimes are of particular concern. The four squads will be located in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and the District of Columbia. The squads will allow for more focused efforts in particular hot spot areas and increased contact and coordination with our state and local law enforcement partners. The 20 new agents will join the 31 agents devoted to investigating IP crimes who have already been deployed to field offices around the country.
“Theft of intellectual property–from inventions to trademarks and copyrights, to industrial designs and trade secrets–is a worldwide problem. It affects individuals and corporations financially and can threaten public safety. The additional FBI agents will significantly strengthen the efforts of our squads investigating intellectual property rights violations and help bring to justice those who seek to profit from intellectual property theft,” said Assistant Director Gordon M. Snow of the FBI Cyber Division.
Acting Deputy Attorney General Grindler serves as chair of the department’s Task Force on Intellectual Property, which was established earlier this year by Attorney General Eric Holder to coordinate the department’s efforts on IP crimes. The task force focuses on strengthening efforts to combat intellectual property crimes through close coordination with state and local law enforcement partners as well as international counterparts. As part of its mission, the task force works together with the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), housed in the Executive Office of the President, to implement an Administration-wide strategic plan on intellectual property.
The task force includes representatives from the offices of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, and the Associate Attorney General; the Criminal Division; the Civil Division; the Antitrust Division; the Office of Legal Policy; the Office of Justice Programs; the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee; the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and the FBI.
World Intellectual Property Day was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to recognize the importance of protecting intellectual property rights and enforcing their laws. Each year on April 26th, WIPO and its member states seek to increase public understanding of intellectual property through activities, events and campaigns.