Recognizing that economic and consumer safety threats of counterfeiting and piracy are not confined to the physical world, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the National IPR Center, in coordination with the Department of Justice, have protected American consumers and jobs by successfully putting a stop to the criminal misuse of 1,630 domains.
Data suggests that such enforcement actions are desperately needed. Published reports and studies place the total global economic value of counterfeit and pirated products at as much as $650 billion every year, with a rising trend that could reach $1.77 trillion in just two years. If counterfeiting and piracy could be eradicated or seriously reduced, up to 2.5 million legitimate, innovation sector jobs could be saved in the economies of the G20.
Websites targeted by this sustained two-year law enforcement effort, dubbed “Operation In Our Sites,” have been engaged in illegal trafficking in fake medicine, counterfeit merchandise including baby carriers, jewelry, sporting goods, and apparel, and copyrighted works including pirated copies of first-run movies, the latest music, and illegal streams of live sporting and pay-per-view telecasts.
Operation In Our Sites aims to disrupt and dismantle organizations engaged in online IP theft through a long-standing judicial process to cut off their access to the U.S. marketplace and, when possible, arrest and prosecute the offenders. These efforts have protected consumers from being duped by criminal enterprises and have protected scores of U.S. businesses and workers threatened by this destructive form of theft. In the most recent phase of the Operation, on Cyber Monday alone, the targeted criminals were stealing from 41 different rights holders of U.S. companies—everything including: baby carriers, clothing, shoes, jewelry, and electronics.
Operation In Our Sites also provides notice to and educates U.S. consumers, many unsuspecting, about the dangers of trafficking in counterfeit goods. The banners that now reside where criminals used to thrive have been viewed over 110 million times. And educational public service announcements about the economic impact of trademark counterfeiting and copyright infringement have been viewed by millions more.
Visit www.iprcenter.gov for more information on Operation in Our Sites and other IP enforcement efforts.