As part of the U.S. Justice Department's commitment to aggressively enforce intellectual property rights, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today (March 9) will announce the top two members of the Int

As part of the U.S. Justice Department's commitment to aggressively enforce intellectual property rights, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today (March 9) will announce the top two members of the Intellectual Property Task Force.

D. Kyle Sampson, deputy chief of staff and counselor to the attorney general, will lead the task force as chair. Assistant U.S. attorney Arif Alikhan will serve as vice chair/executive director.

Sampson replaces David Israelite, who left the Justice Department last month to take the role of president/CEO of the National Music Publishers' Assn.

Sampson was most recently counselor to former Attorney General John Ashcroft and previously served in the White House as associate counsel to the president. Alikhan will be leaving his current position as chief of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles to work in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General in Washington, D.C.

Ashcroft created the task force in March 2004 to examine the department's efforts in dealing with IP theft. After examining all aspects of the issue -- from enforcement and legislation to international coordination and prevention -- the task force released a report one month before Ashcroft resigned last November, recommending significant improvements to protect intellectual resources.

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