|THE THEFT OF CREATIVITY
Joining Forces to Stop It
All three cases involved the theft of intellectual property, often defined as “creations of the mind”—like designs, inventions, proprietary business information, literature, music, and movies.
The FBI plays a leading role in investigating intellectual property crime with our many partners. We’re currently working over 400 such cases—many with a global nexus.
Intellectual property crime encompasses many areas, including copyright and trademark infringement, counterfeit goods, and television signal/cable theft. At the FBI, our top priorities are two-fold. First, the theft of trade secrets—which affects not only a company’s bottom line, but also American competitiveness around the world. And second, product infringements that can impact the health and safety of consumers, such as counterfeit parts for aircraft, cars, electronics, and health products.
So far in fiscal year 2010, we’ve opened 35 counterfeit health and safety investigations and 56 theft of trade secret cases. We’ve had investigative successes in both areas—for example:
Theft of trade secrets:
Health and safety infringements:
We’ve also recently joined forces with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board on “Operation Fractured Skies,” which focuses specifically on counterfeit parts in commercial and military aircraft.
Working closely with our partners in both public and private sectors is key to our success. Some of the joint efforts we're involved in include:
As the Internet and advances in traditional distribution methods allow American businesses, inventors, and artists to market their “products” worldwide, the threat from criminals and criminal organizations who want to profit illegally from their hard work grows. But so does the commitment of law enforcement and governments around the world to find new and effective ways to combat the threat…together.