Intellectual-property crime sounds like a benign, even academic, infraction. But the Department of Justice is getting tough on perpetrators and announced nearly $4 million in grants to local and state authorities to combat it.
The enforcement of intellectual-property law “is more than just protecting businesses from economic loss – it is also about protecting Americans from dangerous goods ranging from counterfeit pharmaceuticals to lead-tainted jewelry,” said Laurie O. Robinson, the assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs, an arm of DOJ, which oversees intellectual-property crimes.
The funding will go to 13 state and local jurisdictions, including Chesterfield County, Va., and the Virginia Department of State Police in Richmond, Va.
The award will provide support for:
- Enforcing laws, including reimbursement for pursuing criminal enforcement
- Public education about intellectual-property crimes
- Establishing state and local task forces to investigate and prosecute such crimes
Officials with DOJ insist intellectual property should be taken seriously.
“Intellectual-property crime is not a victimless crime,” said Jim Burch, acting director of OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. “Dangerous counterfeit products and lost retail revenue resulting from intellectual-property crimes pose significant threats to the safety and economic security of the American people.”