The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Joint Press Statement of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Negotiating Parties
Representatives from Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States reaffirmed their commitment to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement at aTokyo signing ceremony hosted by the Government of Japan. Representatives of eight governments -- Australia, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States -- signed the agreement and took a major step towards its entry into force. Representatives of the European Union, Mexico and Switzerland attended the ceremony and confirmed their continuing strong support for and preparations to sign the agreement as soon as practicable. All participants expressed their firm resolve to work cooperatively to achieve the agreement's prompt entry into force and to support actively its goals.
Operation In Our Sites specifically targets websites and their operators that distribute counterfeit and pirated items over the Internet, including counterfeit pharmaceuticals and pirated movies, television shows, music, software, electronics and other merchandise, as well as products that threaten public health and safety.
Established in each ICE HSI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) offices across the country, the Intellectual Property Right Theft Enforcement Teams (IPTETs) build on the investigative best practices identified by the IPR Center, its partner agencies and private industry. The IPTETs use an informal task force approach to enhance coordination of IP theft investigations between federal, state and local law enforcement partners in their local area.
The IPR Center’s Outreach & Training Unit engages in partnerships with public and private sectors to combat Intellectual Property (IP) theft through its Operation Joint Venture (Joint Venture) initiative. This IPR Center-led outreach initiative increases information sharing with the public and private sector to combat the illegal importation and distribution of counterfeit, substandard, and tainted goods.
The IPR Center uses the expertise of its member agencies to share information, perform interdictions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property crimes. With the proliferation of counterfeit goods increasing at an alarming rate, the IPR Center focuses on keeping counterfeit products off U.S. streets while dismantling the criminal organizations behind this activity.
The IPR Center is the U.S. government’s clearinghouse for investigations into counterfeiting and piracy – crimes that endanger public health, safety, and the war fighters. The IPR Center uses the unique authorities, resources and expertise of its member agencies to share information, manage investigative leads, coordinate investigations and provide training and assistance to federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies. The IPR Center encourages members of the general public, rights holders, trade associations, law enforcement and government agencies to report instances of IPR theft. This fact sheet provides users with detailed information on the steps for making a referral to the IPR Center.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in close cooperation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), investigates commercial fraud, including false statements and deceptive business practices. ICE HSI’s commercial fraud programs unit, which is led by the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), prioritizes health and safety violations, U.S. economic interests and duty collection.
Operation Apothecary targets unapproved, counterfeit, or adulterated pharmaceuticals. Apothecary was initiated in fiscal year (FY) 2004 under the auspices of Operation Guardian to combat the growing problem of Internet crime. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of the Internet as the primary means of communication and ordering of pharmaceuticals.
Operation Guardian is a multi-agency effort to combat the increasing importation of substandard, tainted and counterfeit products that pose a health and safety risk to consumers. The identification of these commodities has led to the successful detention and seizure of numerous containers of hazardous products.
Operation Pangea was organized to target the advertisement, sale and supply of counterfeit and illicit medicines and medical devices that threaten worldwide public health and safety.
In December 2009, the IPR Center initiated Operation Holiday Hoax targeting counterfeit goods in transit, at transportation hubs and at local retail sales points throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico.