U.S. Department of Justice: The Intellectual Property Enforcement Program: Protecting Public Health, Safety, and the Economy from Counterfeit Goods and Product Piracy
The Intellectual Property Enforcement Program (IPEP) is designed to provide national support and improve the capacity of state, local, and tribal criminal justice systems to address intellectual property (IP) enforcement, including prosecution, prevention, training, and technical assistance. Awards will be made to support law enforcement agencies in coordinating the objectives and activities of their IP enforcement task forces in close collaboration with the relevant state, local, tribal, and federal agencies, to include local U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAOs).
The improved coordination of IP enforcement efforts among federal, state, and local authorities contributes to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) priority of reducing crime. DOJ efforts include aggressively investigating and prosecuting a wide range of IP crimes, with a particular focus on: (1) public health and safety; (2) theft of trade secrets and economic espionage; and (3) large scale commercial counterfeiting and piracy.
Projects funded must establish and/or enhance state and/or local IP enforcement task forces that include relevant law enforcement agencies and federal agencies (to include, where appropriate, local offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI], U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation [ICE HSI], and U.S. Attorneys). Applicants must document a plan to conduct regularly scheduled meetings of the task force members to update, discuss, and collaborate on IP investigations, prosecutions, training, and public awareness activities. These meetings must be held at least quarterly, and must be included on the time-task plan for applicant agencies. The information to be shared through these task forces must include information about targeting, investigation, analysis, and prosecution of matters involving IP crimes as it relates to violations of state and local criminal statutes. Of particular interest are proposals that are intended to address, in close coordination with federal law enforcement entities, IP theft that may be linked to organized crime, criminal gangs, and drug trafficking; IP theft in the areas of trade secrets, health, and safety; and commercial online piracy and counterfeiting.
Applications that demonstrate a jurisdiction’s holistic commitment to the prevention of IP theft through public education and outreach, enforcement of IP criminal statutes, and prosecution of violators are encouraged. In addition, law enforcement agencies that propose to conduct training, technical assistance, and outreach must also engage in IP theft enforcement efforts.
Amount: A total of up to $2,400,000 is available to make up to six awards that range up to $400,000 per award. The period of performance is 24 months.
Eligibility: State, local, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments; municipal law enforcement agencies, to include law enforcement agencies within institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education); and prosecutors. The following definitions shall apply:
- (A) Law enforcement shall include state, local, tribal, municipal, or campus law enforcement agencies, to include prosecutors in these jurisdictions.
- (B) Intellectual property enforcement means matters relating to the enforcement of criminal laws protecting copyrights, patents, trademarks, other forms of intellectual property (IP), and trade secrets, both in the United States and abroad, including in particular matters relating to combating counterfeit and infringing goods.
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