10 November 2005 16:53 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Thursday it is seeking broad new legislative powers to pursue violations of intellectual property rights (IPR) and toughen penalties for IPR crime.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales warned today that international IPR violations not only undermine ?xml:namespace>
He told an IPR conference here that DoJ needs better investigative tools and authority from Congress in the pursuit of IPR violations because of rapid changes in technology that have accelerated product piracy and counterfeiting.
“Rapid technological advances have made the reproduction and distribution of counterfeit goods and pirated materials easier than ever in our history,” Gonzales told an IPR conference sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce (USCoC).
“Our policy-making efforts must advance along with modern technology if we’re going to keep pace with this evolving area of criminal activity,” he said.
Gonzales said the bill he has sent to Congress, the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2005, will increase DoJ’s ability to forfeit property and illicit proceeds from IPR violations, broaden the definition of IPR crimes, strengthen restitution provisions for victim companies and rights holders and add “critical investigative tools for both criminal and civil enforcement” of IPR laws.
“Technological advances that have made it so much easier to steal and pirate products have encouraged large-scale criminal enterprises to get involved in intellectual property theft, and that quite frankly is being used to fund terrorist activity,” Gonzales said.
A DoJ spokesman said the new legislation was sent to Congress today.
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