Intellectual property crimes

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From: American Criminal Law Review(Vol. 52, Issue 4)
Publisher: Georgetown University Law Center
Document Type: Article
Length: 25,668 words
Lexile Measure: 2050L

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I. INTRODUCTION II. TRADE Secret Theft A. Economic Espionage Act of 1996 1. Definition of Trade Secret 2. Elements of the Criminal Offenses a. Economic Espionage b. Theft of Trade Secrets 3. Applicability to Conduct Abroad 4. Prosecutions Under the EEA 5. Defenses a. Independent Development b. Reverse Engineering c. Lack of Secrecy B. National Stolen Property Act 1. Transported in Interstate or Foreign Commerce 2. Goods, Wares, or Merchandise 3. Minimum Value of $5,000 4. Knowledge of the Same 5. Stolen, Converted, or Taken by Fraud C. Trade Secrets Act D. Mail and Wire Fraud Statutes E. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act F. State Law Provisions III. TRADEMARK Counterfeiting A. Trademark Counterfeiting Act 1. Relation to the Lanham Act 2. The 2006 Amendment 3. The PRO-IP Act of 2008 4. Elements of Criminal Offense 5. Defenses 6. Other Federal Statutes B. RICO and Money Laundering Acts IV. COPYRIGHT A. Copyright Act 1. Elements of the Offense a. Existence of a Valid Copyright b. Infringement c. Willfulness d. Financial Gain or Threshold Violation 2. The Internet and the First Sale Doctrine 3. Internet Service Provider Liability V. PATENT A. False Marking B. Counterfeiting or Forging Letters Patent VI. CABLE TELEVISION AND SATELLITE DESCRAMBLING VII. SENTENCING A. Economic Espionage Act of 1996 B. National Stolen Property Act C. Trade Secrets Act D. Mail and Wire Fraud Statutes E. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act F. Trademark Counterfeiting Act and Copyright Felony Act G. False Marking and Counterfeiting or Forging Letters Patent H. Cable Television and Satellite Descrambling


Intellectual property accounts for a large part of today's economy. (1) Protecting the rights of intellectual property owners is, therefore, a critical task for the federal government in an environment where the distribution of illegitimate goods can be achieved on scales like never before. (2) While owners of intellectual property can protect their rights by pursuing civil remedies, the threat of civil sanctions is often insufficient to deter infringing activities. (3) Some intellectual property thieves simply view civil damages as another cost of doing business. (4) Moreover, because the theft of intellectual property often does not involve tangible goods and in most cases does not require direct contact with the rights holder, many victims are unaware of the damages they sustain until an investigation is undertaken. (5) Conservative estimates indicate that U.S. companies lose $200 to $250 billion and 750,000 jobs each year to intellectual property theft. (6) In addition to monetary damages, intellectual property theft may also compromise the safety of the general public when counterfeit materials are used in pharmaceuticals, auto parts, and other such goods. (7)

The marked increase in intellectual property theft--combined with the ineffective deterrence civil remedies provide--has led the federal, state, and local governments to enact criminal statutes to protect intellectual property. (8) Examples of the government's continuing commitment to enforcing intellectual property law include the president's transmission of the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement; (9) the creation of the Intellectual Property Task...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A434223314