IPR Center celebrates World IP Day with outreach events

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WASHINGTON — The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) joined international associations, government and law enforcement officials around the world to celebrate World Intellectual Property (IP) Day with a week full of activities designed to bring attention to IP theft enforcement.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center hosted the second annual IP Champions Conference April 23 in Washington, D.C. The event included a panel to discuss public-private partnerships in IP theft enforcement and featured discussions with IPR Center Director Lev Kubiak, National Football League Senior Vice President and Chief Litigation Officer Anastasia Danias, and Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General Miriam Vogel.

Additionally, the IPR Center and several partners including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the FBI and Mexican Customs were honored at the event for cases worked over the past year.

"Every day is World IP Day at the IPR Center," said Lev Kubiak, director of the IPR Center. "But days like this and the outreach events we participate in around the world throughout the year give us the opportunity to educate the public about the very real dangers that IP crimes pose."

The IPR Center also participated in a briefing on intellectual property theft protection at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. April 28 hosted by the House co-chairs of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Adam Schiff. The event included a discussion led by panelists including Ann M. Harkins, president and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council; Kubiak; Michael D. Smith, professor of information technology and marketing at Carnegie Mellon University; and Christopher McClure, special agent, Virginia State Police Department.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the American Intellectual Property Law Association also hosted an event at the Hart Senate Office Building. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness to IP issues – specifically movies – by discussing the technological changes and changes to licensing and branding in the movies industry.

IP theft enforcement continues to be a priority for the Department of Homeland Security. The number of IPR seizures increased nearly 7 percent from 22,848 in FY 2012 to 24,361 in FY 2013. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the seized goods also increased from $1.26 billion in FY 2012 to $1.74 billion in FY 2013. DHS averaged slightly over 66 seizures per day, with an average MSRP of each seizure being slightly more than $71,500.

World IP Day was started by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and is celebrated April 26 every year in order to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity. WIPO is the United Nations agency dedicated to the use of intellectual property – patents, copyright, trademarks, designs, etc. – as a means of stimulating innovation and creativity. Their mission is to promote innovation and creativity for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries, through a balanced and effective international intellectual property system.

WIPO's member states designated April 26 – the day on which the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970 – as World IP Day with the aim of increasing general understanding of IP. Since then, Word IP Day has offered a unique opportunity each year to join with others around the globe to discuss and demonstrate how IP works to contribute to the flourishing of music and the arts and to producing safer consumer products and driving technological innovation that helps shape our world. The theme for this year's World IP Day focuses on the next generation of creativity.

The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against counterfeiting, piracy, and commercial trade fraud. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21-member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

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