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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

ectual property assets become increasingly susceptible to exploitation by criminal organizations that operate overseas. The Department has found in several investigations that criminals are using industrial-scale overseas manufacturing facilities to produce counterfeit products and pirated optical discs on a commercial scale. Criminals are also using servers located overseas to host massive repositories of pirated software, movies, and music - some of which has not yet been released on commercial markets - with the belief that they will be beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement and outside the interest of foreign law enforcement.

The Department is attacking this significant problem with a multi-faceted strategy that includes increased dedication of personnel to foreign enforcement coordination; broader international outreach and education efforts; more joint investigations and enforcement operations with foreign law enforcement; and new and stronger mechanisms for cooperation with counterfeit source countries. For instance, in 2006, the Department established the first ever IP Law Enforcement Coordinator for Asia in Bangkok, Thailand; and this week, the first IPLEC Coordinator for Eastern Europe began work in Sofia, Bulgaria. Both IPLEC positions are dedicated to advancing the Department's regional IP goals through training, outreach, and the coordination of investigations and operations against IP crime.

A significant recent accomplishment of the Asian IPLEC occurred on October 23-26, 2007, when the U.S. Department of Justice hosted a regional conference of approximately 60 key law enforcement officials from over a dozen nations in Asia, with the aim of developing an international network targeting large-scale intellectual property crimes. The Asian IPLEC and CCIPS secured funding and organized this week-long gathering in Bangkok, Thailand, with the assistance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Offic
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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