U.S. Attorney Announces $100,000 In Grants To Combat Intellectual Property Theft In The City Of Orlando
Orlando, Florida – U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill and City of Orlando Chief of Police Paul Rooney today announced $100,020 in grant money to combat the purchase and sale of counterfeit and pirated products. Today’s announcement is part of a broader national announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole of more than $2.4 million in grants to 13 jurisdictions around the country to combat this problem. Intellectual Property (IP) theft refers to the violation of criminal laws that protect copyrights, patents, trademarks, other forms of intellectual property and trade secrets, both in the United States and abroad. IP crimes can destroy jobs and suppress innovation in the United States. Faulty products and improperly prepared counterfeit drugs can jeopardize the health and safety of consumers. In some cases, these activities are used to fund dangerous or even violent criminal enterprises and organized crime networks.
“IP theft is not a victimless crime. It can devastate lives and businesses as well as undermine our nation’s financial stability, jeopardize the health of our citizens, and even threaten our national security,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “That's why the Justice Department is fighting back with these new investments to prevent and combat IP theft by enabling some of our key state and local partners to build on their records of success.”
The Orlando Police Department (OPD) has been awarded $100,020 to increase its capacity to address significant increases in IP theft activity in the jurisdiction and raise community awareness about dangers posed by IP theft. OPD’s coordination plan includes working closely with other local law enforcement agencies as well as the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute these crimes. The funds will enhance enforcement efforts by increasing the number of intellectual crimes operations, cases investigated, arrests made, and assets seized.
“Integrated partnerships and approaches such as these are the key to tackling such a large problem,” said U.S. Attorney O’Neill. “We look forward to combining our resources with those of our local and regional partners in addressing these types of crimes.”
“Preventing and combating intellectual property crimes constitutes a top priority for our nation’s Department of Justice,” said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. “With the grants we announce today, we make good on our firm commitment to work closely with a variety of federal, state, local, and international partners to more effectively fight IP crime, provide direct support to critical law enforcement allies, and strengthen our ability to protect American innovation.”
Today’s grants are provided through the department’s BJA, and will assist 13 jurisdictions in enforcing criminal laws related to IP theft, through improving their ability to enforce, investigate, prosecute and implement prevention initiatives that address IP crimes. The grants include providing reimbursement of expenses incurred in performing criminal enforcement operations, such as overtime payments, storage fees for seized evidence, training and technical assistance.
The Justice Department, through the Deputy Attorney General’s IP Task Force, has made preventing IP theft a top priority. In the past three years, the department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance has awarded $10,108,800 in grants to 34 law enforcement agencies to tackle the problem. BJA has awarded a total of $13,383,002 in grants to fight IP theft.
Other jurisdictions receiving grants today include: Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Md. County Police Department; the California Department of Justice; Central Point, Ore.; Cook County, Ill.; Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office; New York County District Attorney’s Office; Riverside County, Calif.; Sacramento County, Calif.; San Antonio; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; and the Virginia State Police.
The Justice Department is also working with the National White Collar Crime Center and the National Association of Attorneys General to provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement on the topic of IP crime investigation. In addition, the department has partnered with the National Crime Prevention Council to educate American consumers about the dangers of purchasing and using counterfeit goods. For more information on the NCPC’s efforts on this issue, please visit: www.ncpc.org/topics/intellectual-property-theft.
For more information on the Justice Department’s continuing efforts to stop IP theft, please visit: www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce.