The Justice Department announced that it is devoting significant new resources to its ongoing initiative to combat domestic and international intellectual property crimes, including theft of trade secrets, computer hacking, digital piracy, and counterfeit goods.
The Department is creating 15 new AUSA positions in the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) program. They will work with the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) to aggressively pursue high-tech crimes. The new AUSA positions will be located in California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Twenty new FBI Special Agents will be stationed in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and D.C., four areas with intellectual property squads. These 20 new agents are in addition to the 31 agents already devoted to investigating IP crimes.
In an op-ed piece in The National Law Journal, Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler explained that aggressive intellectual law enforcement is a top priority for the DOJ. "Businesses that create and rely upon intellectual property, from large entertainment conglomerates to small biotech firms, make up among the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy. These industries also represent a significant portion of U.S. exports, with intellectual property now comprising a significant- and growing - share of the value of world trade."
Grindler warned that "these unprecedented opportunities for American businesses and entrepreneurs are put at risk by criminals and criminal organizations that seek unlawfully to profit by stealing from the hard work of American artists, authors and inventors. . . . Criminals are responding to American innovation with their own creative methods of committing intellectual property crimes - from widespread online piracy to well-funded corporate espionage to increased trade in counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other goods." In recognition of these threats, the DOJ has redoubled its commitment to "aggressive criminal and civil enforcement of our nation's intellectual property laws."