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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

p; and public outreach events for small businesses developed by the Department of Commerce. Despite the widely divergent roles played by many of the agencies involved in the STOP initiative, coordination and support among agencies has never been greater in the effort to enforce IP rights.

2 -- Criminal Prosecutions

Of course, at the core of the Department's IP enforcement program are criminal prosecutions, and we have worked hard to increase both the quality and the number of intellectual property prosecutions nationwide. Through the dedicated efforts of U.S. Attorney's Offices, our Criminal Division, and law enforcement across the country, the Department filed 217 intellectual property cases in FY 2007, representing a 7 percent increase over cases reported in FY2006 (204), and a 33 percent increase over cases reported in FY2005 (169). Also in FY2007, 287 defendants were convicted and sentenced on intellectual property charges, representing a 35 percent increase over FY2006 (213) and a 92 percent increase over FY 2005 (149).

The increase in prosecutions in FY 2007 was not an aberration, but rather reflects a continuing upward trend. For example, in FY 2006, federal prosecutors convicted 187 defendants of criminal copyright and trademark offenses alone - an increase of 57 percent over the prior year. Thirty-nine (39) of those defendants received terms of imprisonment of 25 months or more, a 130 percent increase from the 17 sentenced to such terms in 2005. Indeed, in the previous year (FY 2005), the Department prosecuted twice the number of defendants for intellectual property violations than it had in 2004.

The Department's prioritization of the most serious intellectual property crimes is paying off in terms of more convictions and higher sentences. That, in turn, leads to increased deterrence for both the individual defendant and the general public. Deterrence is a key component of any effective enforcement strategy, and it is one reason
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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