IP Theft

The Intellectual Property Unit, comprised of special agents and analysts, recognizes the threat posed by intellectual property theft and provides the coordination of both IPR Center and field personnel needed to facilitate successful investigations into the criminal organizations involved in such activity. This unit also oversees enforcement operations relative to threats identified in the intellectual property environment, including the increasing health and safety risks posed by counterfeit products. Two such efforts include Operation In Our Sites and Operation Chain Reaction. The FBI also houses their IP headquarters program at the IPR Center. FBI program managers have oversight over the FBI’s dedicated IPR field agents, whose priorities include counterfeit goods that pose a health and safety threat and the theft of trade secrets.

Fact Sheets

“Operation Holiday Hoax” seizes counterfeit toys worth more than $5M

In a port that is capable of handling more than 2.4 million tons of cargo in a year, you would think a containerized cargo shipment of toys could easily get lost in the daily shuffle. Not so, when a suspicious shipment arrives from China containing counterfeit toys, some of which tested positive for lead content.

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A Time for Action

The Homeland Security Investigations-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center provided the backdrop for the release of a report on the state of counterfeit and pirated goods trafficking, and recommendations focused on protecting businesses and consumers with strategies aimed at achieving the President’s stated goals.

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Cartagena IP enforcement team’s counterfeit seizures exceed $20 million

CARTAGENA – The Port of Cartagena billboards itself as one of the top five busiest port in Latin America, accommodating high-capacity containerized vessels arriving from all over the world with millions of tons of cargo annually. Although the high-volume shipments are viewed as critical to stimulate the flow of commerce, they’ve also caught the eye of port authorities and their efforts to maintain safety and security for shippers and brand owners in search of protecting their cargo.

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Counterfeit merchandise worth $2.5M seized during 2020 NBA All Star Game

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) announced today the results of Operation Team Player during the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game in Chicago that show the seizure of counterfeit sports and entertainment–related items worth an estimated $2.5 million.

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HSI announces partnership in fight against COVID-19 fraud

Industry experts from Pfizer, 3M, Citi, Alibaba, Amazon and Merck have joined forces with the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) and its criminal investigators in an unprecedented public-private partnership to combat fraud and other illegal activity surrounding COVID-19.

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HSI Detroit hosts first IPR enforcement field training event

More than 70 Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel from the Detroit area recently converged at the first-ever Anti-Counterfeiting Issues and Product ID Training Fair to learn more about counterfeiting and how to observe fakes.

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HSI investigates counterfeit sex enhancement pill distribution network

A three-year investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) into a criminal organization responsible for illegal imports and sales of male sexual enhancement pills branded and marketed as ‘herbal’ medicine has resulted in multiple criminal convictions. The convictions are part of a larger investigation into the importer and initial distributor of the drug, eventually identified as John Lee, who was recently sentenced to 100 months in federal prison.

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HSI-led investigation leads to $300K worth of counterfeit goods

When it comes to college football playoff games, sports fans are passionate about their sports apparel, especially when purchasing national championship gear to help preserve the thrill of victory. However, in New Orleans, the agony of defeat is being felt among a handful of vendors caught selling counterfeit merchandise during the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between LSU and Clemson.

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IPU E-Commerce

In 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as the lead agency of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), initiated its E- Commerce Initiative to combat the growing issue of the sale and distribution of counterfeit and dangerous goods on the internet through online sales platforms, illicit websites, social media and the Dark Web. This initiative includes Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C), and Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) platforms.

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IPU IPRIS Fact Sheet

The IPR Intelligence Section (IPRIS) coordinates directly with the 25 agency partners of the IPR Center to compile information and strategically share the information in such a way as to create the strongest impact. IPRIS de-conflicts incoming leads from multiple sources, to include partner agencies, industry and the public. IPRIS also provides intelligence support to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations field offices and IPRC program managers in the form of lead production and evaluation to facilitate investigations. In addition, IPRIS works closely with private industry to identify viable targets for both criminal and civil actions.

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IPU Operation Apothecary

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) is leading the government’s response to intellectual property theft, a crime that leads to lost revenue for American industry, a loss of American jobs, and often poses a threat to public health and safety. Operation Apothecary (Apothecary) is an IPR Center initiative targeting the smuggling or illegal importation of unapproved, counterfeit, or adulterated pharmaceuticals entering the United States via international mail facilities (IMFs), express courier hubs (ECHs), and land borders.

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IPU Operation Body Armor

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) is leading the government’s response to intellectual property theft, a crime that leads to lost revenue for American industry, a loss of American jobs, and often poses a threat to public health and safety. Operation Body Armor is an IPR Center initiative targeting the smuggling or illegal importation of unapproved, counterfeit, or adulterated personal healthcare and beauty products entering the United States via international mail facilities, express courier hubs, and land borders.

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IPU Operation Engine Newity

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), manages Operation Engine Newity, in conjunction with Immigratin and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies who collaborate to counter the threat of counterfeit automotive, aerospace, rail, and heavy industry related components that are illegally imported and distributed throughout the United States.

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IPU Operation Surge Protector

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) initiated Operation Surge Protector in December 2016 to target the sale and trafficking of counterfeit consumer electronics and technology products. From personal electronics such as headphones to smartphones and related accessories like power adapters and charging cords and devices, consumers are unknowingly at increasing risk of bringing home dangerous devices which pose health and safety risks to the public.

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IPU Operation Team Player

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) initiated Operation Team Player in June 2013 to target the sale and trafficking of counterfeit sports merchandise, apparel and tickets. Because this is a multi-million dollar criminal industry, the trafficking of these items is extremely lucrative and becomes more profitable in markets involving successful and popular teams. The culmination of a sports season involving playoffs and championship games are events that stimulate the sale of counterfeit items.

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Operation In Our Sites

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.

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Operation Pangea Fact Sheet

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.

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World Intellectual Property Day, 2020

The IPR Center is proud to support 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘁𝘆 𝗗𝗮𝘆, and encourages Americans to observe this day to celebrate the benefits of intellectual property to our economy and our country.

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