National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center/IPR Investigations
The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) stands at the forefront of the United States Government’s response to global intellectual property theft.
The mission of the IPR Center is to insure national security by protecting the public’s health and safety, the U.S. economy, and the war fighters, and to stop predatory and unfair trade practices that threaten the global economy.
To accomplish this mission, the IPR Center brings together the key U.S. investigative agencies involved in the federal criminal enforcement of IP laws in a task force setting. The task force structure enables the IPR Center to efficiently and effectively leverage the resources, skills, and authorities of each participating agency and provide a comprehensive response to IP theft. Partner agencies include Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Bureau of Investigation, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Army Investigative Command-Major Procurement Fraud Unit, General Services Administration-Office of Inspector General, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Defense Logistics Agency-Office of Inspector General, INTERPOL, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Government of Mexico Tax Administration Service. We also work closely with the Department of Justice (DOJ) Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.
The entry of goods into the United States is an integral part of the economic health of our nation. This country seeks to create full employment and economic prosperity through international trade and the opening of new consumer markets to U.S. goods. However, with the growth of international trade and open border policies comes an increased risk of border security compromises as well as threats to national security, and economic crime.
To meet these strategic goals, the IPR Center established objectives to improve the administration and enforcement of international trade laws and agreements. These objectives respond to predatory trade practices that endanger the public health and our economy, and restrict the competitiveness of the U.S. products in the global market.
Field Support Unit
The Field Support Unit executes the IPR Center’s command and control function for multi-jurisdictional, large-scale investigations. It is responsible for de-conflicting leads that are received at the IPR Center, and for coordinating investigative overlap with partner agencies. The Field Support Unit proactively targets the sale and distribution of counterfeit, substandard and tainted products via the Internet through a certified undercover operation, and it works closely with DOJ to prosecute IPR violators both domestically and internationally.
The FBI also houses their IP headquarters unit at the IPR Center. This unit has programmatic oversight over the FBI’s dedicated IPR field agents and has an operational component. The FBI’s priorities include counterfeit goods that pose a health and safety threat and theft of trade secrets.
The IPR Center encompasses more than just intellectual property enforcement. It also manages and supports the ICE commercial fraud program, focusing on commercial importations involving false statements and deceptive business practices. The IPR Center has recognized that those criminals engaged in IPR violations are often involved in other types of commercial fraud violations. By combining these programs at the IPR Center, ICE is able to take a comprehensive approach to addressing these vulnerabilities. Fraud investigations are important components of an overall trade strategy whereby ICE and CBP concentrate on enforcing revenue protection and, increasingly, non-revenue protection laws and regulations.
Programmatic areas of responsibility include: health and safety crimes, in-bond diversion, tobacco smuggling, forced child labor, textiles, anti-dumping, and trade agreement enforcement.
Outreach and Training Unit
The Outreach and Training Unit handles all public facing for the IPR Center. As such, the unit’s responsibilities include building and maintaining partnerships with industry and law enforcement, coordinating domestic and international capacity building programs, and raising public awareness.
IPR Center personnel frequently participate in capacity building programs sponsored by the Department of State, USPTO (Global Intellectual Property Academy), DOJ, Interpol, and the World Customs Organization as IP enforcement Subject Matter Experts.
The Policy Section develops policy and guidance for the IPR Center and its operations, and further coordinates Departmental, Congressional, and interagency requests involving IP related matters. The Policy Section also provides input on domestic and international policy through their work with the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, the Special 301 Sub-Committee, and numerous international treaty committees and multilateral working groups.
Contact the IPR Center
Report IP Theft: http://www.ice.gov/iprcenter/iprreferral.htm
Mail: National IPR Coordination Center
2451 Crystal Drive, STOP 5105
Arlington, VA 20598-5105