Doc reveals strategies against counterfeiting and piracy.

The U.S. government has developed a five-pillar intellectual-property rights strategy to combat piracy in China, according to a report released by the Bush Administration today (Sept. 28).

The 2006 Report to the President and Congress on Coordination of Intellectual Property Enforcement and Protection sets out the federal government's actions and initiatives over the past year to combat the rising tide of global counterfeiting and piracy. The report was produced by the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council (NIPLECC), composed of representatives from the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Justice and State, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement.

With respect to China, the government's strategy involves bilateral engagement; effective use of trade tools; expanding law enforcement cooperation; education and capacity building; and working with the private sector.

Domestically, the Department of Justice created five new Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) units in the U.S. Attorney's Offices in Sacramento, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; Nashville and Pittsburgh, bringing the total number of specialized units to 25. DOJ also increased the total number of CHIP prosecutors nationwide to 230.

In districts with CHIP units, the number of defendants charged with federal IP crimes climbed from 109 in fiscal year 2004 to 180 in fiscal year 2005 -- a 65% increase. During the past five years, approximately half of all defendants convicted of federal intellectual property crimes in the United States received some amount of jail time.

"This report verifies our significant and substantial efforts to stem the tide of intellectual property theft," says Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "The Department of Justice is committed to working very closely with its partners as this Administration wages an unprecedented effort to crack down on the growing global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods."

According to the report, seizures of fake and counterfeit goods at America's borders have doubled since 2001. The Department of Homeland Security has initiated more than 31,000 seizures of counterfeit products with an estimated retail value in excess of $482 million since then. The DOH also deployed an online tool for rights holders to record their trademarks and copyrights, making it easier for DHS identify fake goods at our borders.

The Administration is also expanding STOP! (Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy) education outreach events for small and medium-sized businesses, including China-focused programs. Its leadership led to the launch of the U.S.-European Union Action Strategy for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.

The Commerce Department is continuing to expand its IP attache program in China and positioning new regional attaches in Brazil, Russia, India, Thailand and the Middle East.

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