U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced the comprehensive results of counterfeit and pirated goods seized during fiscal year (FY) 2013. Under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), HSI and CBP are the agencies charged with the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) for goods entering the United States.
The number of IPR seizures increased nearly 7 percent from 22,848 in FY 2012 to 24,361 in FY 2013. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the seized goods also increased from $1.26 billion in FY 2012 to $1.74 billion in FY 2013. DHS averaged slightly over 66 seizures per day, with an average MSRP of each seizure being slightly more than $71,500.
“These numbers are the result of the hard work of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security and the increased collaboration of our agencies through the IPR Center,” said ICE’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas S. Winkowski. “But a great deal more has to be done to protect the public from the health and safety threat that counterfeits pose to our society. We will continue to pursue these criminals and educate the public about the real threats that intellectual property crimes pose.”
“Together with our IPR partners, CBP continues to guard the nation’s borders against counterfeit products,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “These products are not only unsafe and dangerous to consumers, but they also pose a threat to the economic security of our country.”
The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) continued Operation In Our Sites (IOS), a long-term law enforcement initiative which targets counterfeiting and piracy on the Internet. In FY 2013, the IPR Center seized 1,413 domain names, and since the launch of IOS in June 2010, the center has seized more than 2,700 domain names. Collaboration through the IPR Center led to 692 arrests, 401 criminal indictments, and 451 criminal convictions for criminal IPR infringement activities in FY 2013.
The People’s Republic of China remained the primary source for counterfeit and pirated goods seized in FY 2013 with a total value of $1.1 billion. This represented 68 percent of all IPR seizures by MSRP. DHS also made seizures from 73 additional economies during FY 2013 including Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.
The HSI-led IPR Center is one of the U.S. government’s key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21-member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public’s health and safety and the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: US CBP/ICE