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

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 23 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 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 Guardian

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), managed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), is leading the government's response to intellectual property theft (IP theft), a crime that costs American industries lost revenue and jobs every year. Operation Guardian is the IPR Center’s multi-agency umbrella program designed to combat the importation and trafficking of substandard, tainted and counterfeit products that pose a health and safety risk to consumers.

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IPU Operation Plastic Beauty

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 Plastic Beauty (Plastic Beauty) 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 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 Joint Venture Fact Sheet

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center’s (IPR Center) Outreach and Training Section engages in partnerships with the public and private sectors to combat Intellectual Property (IP) theft through its Operation Joint Venture (Joint Venture) initiative. This IPR Center-led outreach initiative is designed to increase information sharing with public and private sectors to combat the illegal importation and distribution of counterfeit, substandard and tainted goods. Joint Venture targets rights holders, manufacturers, importers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, bonded facilities, carriers and others to discuss the IPR Center’s priorities of protecting public health and safety, the economy, and securing the Government’s supply chain. Through outreach and public engagement, the Outreach and Training Section raises the public’s awareness of the dangers of trade based violations, such as IP, while serving as a public point of contact for investigative leads.

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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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