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Department of Justice Targets Intellectual Property Crimes as Major Priority

May 03, 2010

By E. Lawrence Barcella, KirD. Behre, Thomas P. O'Brien, and Adam J. Van Alstyne

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken several steps this year to implement a major policy initiative that targets global intellectual property (IP) crimes. First, DOJ created a Task Force on Intellectual Property Crimes to coordinate the investigation and prosecution of high-tech IP crimes. Next, DOJ took steps to make the prosecution of IP crimes a cross-border cooperative effort with other countries. For example, in March 2010 the Department of Justice sent IP prosecutors to Asia to conduct seminars with foreign prosecutors regarding obtaining and using electronic evidence in intellectual property cases.

Finally, DOJ announced this week that fifteen new Assistant United States Attorneys ("AUSAs") and twenty FBI agents will be dedicated exclusively to the prosecution of intellectual property crimes. The 15 new AUSAs will be working from US Attorney's Offices in California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The FBI agents will be deployed to locations around the country where IP crimes are of particular concern to DOJ, which is in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and the District of Columbia.

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