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U.S. Participates in Global Outreach to Combat Piracy and Counterfeiting

Officials from seven federal agencies traveled to Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore on April 11 to further the Bush administration’s Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) and to increase cooperative enforcement efforts to combat international intellectual property rights violations.

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From MEMA Washington Insider

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Officials from seven federal agencies traveled to Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore on April 11 to further the Bush administration’s Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) and to increase cooperative enforcement efforts to combat international intellectual property rights violations.

STOP! calls on federal agencies to partner with America’s trading partners to crack down on global piracy and counterfeiting. The delegation plans to visit other regions in May.

On each leg of the trip, U.S. officials met with their government counterparts and representatives of the private sector to learn about their enforcement programs and to share best practices designed to make it easier for businesses to register and protect their brands in overseas markets by standardizing trademark registration.

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Supporters of the initiative also want to raise the stakes for global pirates and counterfeiters and improve law enforcement methods, cooperation and training and boost investigation and prosecution of money laundering crimes associated with trade in counterfeit products.

The delegation included Victoria Espinel, acting assistant U.S. trade representative for intellectual property; Steve Pinkos, deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the U.S. patent and trademark office, and other high level administration officials.

The Department of State and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security were represented as well. Since October 2004, the administration has taken aggressive steps to implement STOP! by working to:

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* Stop trade in counterfeit goods at America’s borders.

* Dismantle criminal enterprises that steal intellectual property.

* Keep fakes out of global supply chains.

* Empower businesses to secure and enforce their rights at home and abroad.

* Reaching out to trading partners to build an international coalition to block bogus goods.

According to the U.S. government, global IPR theft and trade in counterfeit goods has grown to unprecedented levels, threatening innovative economies around the world. Approximately 7 percent of global trade now involves counterfeited goods, or $512 billion in 2004.

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