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Written Statement of Kevin J. O'Connor, Chairman of the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Intellectual Property Enforcement
Date:11/7/2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a written statement by Kevin J. O'Connor, Chairman of the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Intellectual Property Enforcement:

-- Introduction

Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Specter, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the Department of Justice's efforts to protect intellectual property rights through criminal enforcement.

As America continues its transformation into an information- and innovation-based economy, the protection of America's creative assets is a top priority of the Department of Justice. Intellectual property embodies America's cultural heritage, consumer confidence and trust in brands for products ranging from prescription medicines to spark plugs, and most of the assets of our vibrant information industries. As the Committee knows, the majority of the enforcement regime for protecting these intellectual property assets is now and has traditionally been civil. However, with the advent of new technologies, a global supply chain economy, and the increased involvement of transnational criminal organizations, criminal enforcement is now more important than ever in protecting intellectual property rights.

Today, the Department is dedicating more energy and resources than ever before to the protection of U.S. intellectual property rights, with a particular emphasis on health and safety crimes and organized criminal syndicates. The Department has been an integral part of President Bush's Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy, or "STOP", initiative. This initiative involves government officials, local and national law enforcement, small businesses, and international partners in a coordinated and aggressive strategy to fight global intellectual property crime.

Under the umbrella of the STOP initiative and the Department of Justice's Task Force on Intellect
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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