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Getting Our State and Local Partners Involved in IP Enforcement

Getting Our State and Local Partners Involved in IP Enforcement

Today the U.S. Department of Justice awarded IP enforcement grants to 13 cities and states across the country in an effort to ramp up local enforcement efforts. In the announcement, Attorney General Eric Holder rightfully concludes that the theft of intellectual property is a sustained and growing threat to American vitality, saying:

“As our country continues to recover from once-in-a-generation economic challenges, the need to defend IP rights – and to protect Americans from IP theft – has never been more urgent.  We have seen – far too often – that IP crimes are not victimless.  Not only can they devastate individual lives and legitimate businesses, they also undermine our nation’s financial stability, can jeopardize the health of our citizens, and even threaten our national security.”

These awards underlie our firm belief that engaging state and local stakeholders and enforcement agencies is not only a best practice, but a necessary endeavor to combat IP theft. Following the passage of the PRO-IP Act of 2008, $6.5 million in state and local IP enforcement grants netted more than $195 million worth of infringing merchandise- more than 30 times the value of the grants. It’s clear that programs like these are effective, meaningful, and wildly successful.

Congratulations to the state and local agencies that will now have some extra dedicated resources to enhancing their IP enforcement programs. The numbers show that the economy of every state in the union relies heavily intellectual property-intensive industries. Nationally, IP-intensive sectors account for 55 million jobs, 74% of exports, and $5.8 trillion in GDP, but the truly compelling story of the importance of IP enforcement can be seen when you drill down to the state-specific numbers. Below we’ve linked our IP Creates Jobs state-fact sheets to the newly announced grantees:

         City of Austin, Texas
City of Central Point, Oregon
City of Orlando, Florida
City of San Antonio, Texas
Cook County Sherriff’s Office, Illinois
County of Riverside District Attorney’s Office, California
County of Sacramento, California
California Department of Justice
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office
New York County District Attorney’s Office
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
Virginia State Police