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GAO-09-402R: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

February 26, 2009: 

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman:
The Honorable Lamar S. Smith:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Judiciary:
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Howard L. Berman:
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Howard Coble:
House of Representatives: 

Subject: Overseas U.S. Government Personnel Involved in Efforts to 
Protect and Enforce Intellectual Property Rights: 

Intellectual property (IP) plays a significant role in the U.S. 
economy, and the United States is an acknowledged leader in its 
creation. IP is a category of legal rights that grant owners certain 
exclusive rights to intangible assets or products of the human 
intellect, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; and 
symbols, names, images, and designs.[Footnote 1] In its June 2008 
testimony, GAO reported that U.S. intellectual property rights holders 
must compete with the global illicit market that is being spurred by 
economic incentives such as low barriers to entry into counterfeiting 
and piracy, high profits, and limited legal sanctions if caught. GAO 
further noted that technology has facilitated the reproduction and 
distribution of some IP-violating products.[Footnote 2] Moreover, 
intellectual property protection in parts of the world is inadequate. 
As a result, U.S. goods are subject to widespread piracy and 
counterfeiting in many countries, resulting in significant economic 
losses. In addition, many IP-violating products, such as counterfeit 
pharmaceuticals or auto parts, have the potential to threaten public 
health and safety in the United States and abroad. 

A wide range of federal agencies are involved in efforts to protect and 
enforce intellectual property rights with personnel posted domestically 
and overseas. In order to improve the coordination of the U.S. 
government's IP activities, Congress passed the Prioritizing Resources 
and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008. Title III of 
that legislation created a new interagency intellectual property 
enforcement advisory committee composed of representatives of specified 
departments and agencies involved in IP enforcement. It authorizes the 
President to appoint an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator 
(IPEC) position within the Executive Office of the President to chair 
the new advisory committee.[Footnote 3] Among other things, the IPEC is 
to lead the committee in the development of a Joint Strategic Plan to 
reduce counterfeiting and other types of IP infringement in the United 
States and overseas, and to assist in the implementation of the Joint 
Strategic Plan when requested by advisory committee members. 

To help the new Coordinator assess the resources available to promote 
and protect IP rights overseas, the House Judiciary Committee asked GAO 
to provide information on U.S. government personnel overseas who play a 
role in efforts to improve the protection and enforcement of IP rights 
abroad. This report describes the federal agencies that have personnel 
posted overseas who conduct activities related to IP enforcement and 
protection and their respective roles and responsibilities. 

To address these objectives, we obtained and reviewed documentation on 
overseas personnel from the Departments of Commerce (Commerce), Health 
and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ) and 
State (State), and from the Office of the United States Trade 
Representative (USTR) and the United States Agency for International 
Development (USAID). Each of these agencies has U.S. government 
personnel overseas who are involved in intellectual property efforts. 
[Footnote 4] To gain further information on the types of U.S. 
government personnel overseas involved in IP activities and their 
respective roles, we also interviewed knowledgeable officials from 
Commerce, HHS, DHS, DOJ, State, and USTR. Additionally, we obtained and 
reviewed reports from the National Intellectual Property Law 
Enforcement Coordination Council (NIPLECC) and the Bush 
administration's Strategy for Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP), a 
presidential initiative, to gain further information on U.S. government 
agencies involved in IP efforts and the personnel these agencies have 
overseas who support these efforts. We solicited technical comments 
from all the agencies discussed in this report and incorporated their 
comments as appropriate. We conducted this engagement from August 2008 
to February 2009. 

As part of the same request from the House Judiciary Committee, we plan 
to complete an additional report on the U.S. government's efforts to 
encourage the protection and enforcement of IP rights overseas in the 
fall of 2009. This report will provide a detailed assessment of the 
U.S. government's IP-related activities in three case study countries 
that have historically had significant IP problems. 

Multiple U.S. Government Agencies Have Personnel Overseas Involved in 
IP Activities, but the Extent to Which They Focus on IP Varies Widely: 

Multiple U.S. government agencies have personnel posted overseas who 
play a role in protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights, 
as shown in table 1. However, the extent to which these personnel are 
focused on IP varies widely because of a variety of factors. The number 
of personnel at the overseas offices in table 1 varies from agency to 
agency and also varies from office to office within an agency. 

Table 1: Federal Agencies with U.S. Government Personnel Overseas 
Involved in IP Activities, as of the End of Fiscal Year 2008: 

Department of Commerce (Commerce): 

Agency/division: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); 
Overseas office: IP Attaché offices; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: IP Attachés; 
Number of overseas offices: 6; 
Number of countries with offices: 5. 

Agency/division: International Trade Administration (ITA); 
Overseas office: Foreign Commercial Service offices; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Foreign Commercial Service officers; 
Number of overseas offices: 126; 
Number of countries with offices: 77. 

Department of Justice (DOJ): 

Agency/division: Criminal Division; 
Overseas office: Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordinators 
(IPLECs); 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Attorneys; 
Number of overseas offices: 2; 
Number of countries with offices: 2. 

Agency/division: Criminal Division; 
Overseas office: DOJ Attaché offices; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Attorneys; 
Number of overseas offices: 10[A]; 
Number of countries with offices: 10[A]. 

Agency/division: Criminal Division; 
Overseas office: International Criminal Investigative Training 
Assistance Program (ICITAP) field offices; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Program managers; 
Number of overseas offices: 17; 
Number of countries with offices: 17. 

Agency/division: Criminal Division; 
Overseas office: Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, 
Assistance and Training (OPDAT) Resident Legal Advisers; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Attorneys; 
Number of overseas offices: 48; 
Number of countries with offices: 28. 

Agency/division: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); 
Overseas office: Legal Attaché offices; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Agents; 
Number of overseas offices: 75; 
Number of countries with offices: 65. 

Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR): 

Agency/division: Department wide; 
Overseas office: USTR field office; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Attorneys and trade specialists; 
Number of overseas offices: 1; 
Number of countries with offices: 1. 

Agency/division: Department wide; 
Overseas office: USTR Representatives; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: USTR Representatives; 
Number of overseas offices: 2; 
Number of countries with offices: 2. 

Department of State (State): 

Agency/division: Department wide; 
Overseas office: Embassies/consulates; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Economic, political, and public 
affairs officers; 
Number of overseas offices: 253; 
Number of countries with offices: 168. 

Department of Homeland Security (DHS): 

Agency/division: Customs and Border Protection (CBP); 
Overseas office: CBP Attaché offices; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Officers, trade specialists, border 
patrol agents; 
Number of overseas offices: 20; 
Number of countries with offices: 20. 

Agency/division: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); 
Overseas office: ICE Attaché offices; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Agents and intelligence research 
specialists; 
Number of overseas offices: 54; 
Number of countries with offices: 42. 

United States Agency for International Development (USAID): 

Agency/division: Department wide; 
Overseas office: Field missions; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Foreign Service officers; 
Number of overseas offices: 84; 
Number of countries with offices: 81. 

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): 

Agency/division: Food and Drug Administration (FDA); 
Overseas office: FDA field offices; 
Types of personnel with IP duties: Inspectors, technical experts; 
Number of overseas offices: 0[B]; 
Number of countries with offices: 0[B]. 

Source: GAO analysis of agency data. 

Key: Overseas offices with positions that have IP protection and 
enforcement as their primary mission are in bold type. 

[A] The IPLEC in Thailand also serves as a DOJ Attaché. Thus, this 
person is counted twice in the table. 

[B] FDA did not have any offices open as the end of fiscal year 2008, 
but as of February 1, 2009, FDA had opened offices in four countries. 

[End of table] 

Two of the agencies listed in table 1, USPTO and the DOJ, have 
established specific positions overseas that have IP protection and 
enforcement as their primary mission, and two other agencies, USTR and 
State, have staff members in Geneva who specialize in IP protection. 

* USPTO created IP Attaché positions specifically to address IP issues 
in their host countries and regions. The attachés are responsible for 
working on a range of IP activities in coordination with other federal 
agencies, U.S. industry, and foreign counterparts. 

* DOJ has appointed two federal prosecutors with IP expertise to serve 
as IPLECs in Thailand and Bulgaria. The two IPLECs are tasked with 
advancing DOJ's IP goals in their respective regions through a 
combination of training, technical assistance, and outreach. Although 
IP is a central part of the mission of the IPLEC in Thailand, this 
person also serves as a DOJ Attaché and is responsible for a range of 
DOJ functions beyond IP. 

* USTR has a staff member on detail from USPTO who works exclusively on 
IP issues at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. 
[Footnote 5] 

* State has a staff member on detail from USPTO as well, who works 
exclusively on IP issues at the World Intellectual Property 
Organization in Geneva.[Footnote 6] 

For the majority of the types of U.S. government personnel shown in 
table 1, IP activities are just one part of a diverse portfolio of 
responsibilities. For instance, agents at ICE's attaché offices may 
participate in IP-related investigations, but are also responsible for 
investigating national security threats, human trafficking, narcotics 
smuggling, child pornography/exploitation, and immigration fraud. As 
another example, Foreign Commercial Service officers are responsible 
for promoting and protecting U.S. commercial interests abroad and 
assisting U.S. companies as they seek to expand into foreign markets. 
Thus, assistance with intellectual property issues is just one of a 
range of services that Foreign Commercial Service officers provide to 
U.S. companies. 

Several factors influence the amount of time spent on IP activities 
among personnel overseas who have a range of responsibilities that 
extend beyond IP, according to officials we interviewed from various 
agencies. 

* The extent to which IP has been designated as a priority by their 
agencies. Depending on the other responsibilities agencies' overseas 
personnel have, IP is assigned differing levels of priority. For 
instance, law enforcement agencies such as ICE and FBI have competing 
priorities such as protecting national security that generally take 
precedence over IP. 

* The extent to which the U.S. ambassador in a country has made IP a 
priority. Each ambassador outlines the U.S. government goals and 
priorities in the post's Mission Strategic Plan for their country, 
setting expectations for all U.S. government personnel there. Thus, 
personnel will typically place more focus on IP if it has been made a 
priority at their post. 

* The extent to which the United States has identified a country as 
having serious IP problems. If IP has historically been an area of 
concern in a country, as it has in China or Russia, personnel there are 
more likely to spend a larger share of their time on IP. 

* The extent to which personnel in a location have knowledge of and 
experience with IP issues. Overseas agency personnel do not necessarily 
receive specific training on IP, so they may focus more or less on IP 
activities depending on their background. For instance, CBP officials 
stated that the CBP attaché in Thailand has a strong background in IP, 
so he has been more involved in IP efforts than some of the other CBP 
attachés in other countries. 

* The composition of U.S. government personnel in a country. Specific 
roles often shift from country to country depending on the composition 
of agency personnel at each post. For instance, in countries with USPTO 
IP attachés, these personnel perform certain IP work that might have 
otherwise been the responsibility of State Economic officers or Foreign 
Commercial Service officers. 

Because of these factors, some of the types of U.S. personnel in table 
1 may be heavily involved in IP issues in some countries and do little 
or no IP-related work in other countries. Since the extent of IP effort 
varies across personnel, countries, and agencies, we were not able to 
identify the total resources each agency has allocated to IP activities 
overseas. 

Overseas U.S. Government Personnel Are Involved in a Range of IP- 
Related Activities: 

Overseas U.S. government personnel are involved in a wide range of IP- 
related activities, as shown in figure 1. 

Figure 1: Key IP Responsibilities of U.S. Government Personnel 
Overseas: 

[Refer to PDF for image: table] 
		
Key IP responsibilities of U.S. government personnel overseas: 
Advancement of U.S. IP policy; 
Lead U.S. government agencies/divisions	overseas: USTR, State, USPTO, 
ITA; 
Examples of key activities: 

* Negotiating new bilateral and multilateral IP agreements; 

* Monitoring foreign countries' implementation of existing IP 
agreements; 

* Assessing and reporting on weaknesses in foreign countries' IP 
protection and enforcement regimes. 

Key IP responsibilities of U.S. government personnel overseas: Dialogue 
with foreign counterparts on IP issues; 	
Lead U.S. government agencies/divisions	overseas: USTR, State, USPTO, 
ITA, DOJ (IPLECs), CBP, ICE, FDA, FBI; 
Examples of key activities: 

* Participating in bilateral working groups, such as the United States-
China Strategic Economic Dialogue; 

* Participating in international organizations such as the World 
Customs Organization or the World Trade Organization; 
* Conducting ongoing discussions with foreign counterparts. 

Key IP responsibilities of U.S. government personnel overseas: Training 
and technical assistance for foreign counterparts; 
Lead U.S. government agencies/divisions	overseas: USPTO, State, USAID, 
DOJ (ICITAP, OPDAT, IPLECs), ICE. CBP, FBI; 
Examples of key activities: 

* Holding seminars and workshops for foreign counterparts to instruct 
them on IP protection and enforcement matters; 

* Advising foreign governments on the drafting of strengthened IP laws 
and regulations; 

* Educating foreign counterparts on the U.S. system for protecting and 
enforcing IP; 

* Conducting longer-term programs to build capacity among foreign 
counterparts to	protect and enforce IP laws. 

Key IP responsibilities of U.S. government personnel overseas: Support 
for U.S. companies; 
Lead U.S. government agencies/divisions	overseas: USPTO, ITA, State; 
Examples of key activities: 

* Counseling individual companies on options available to protect their 
intellectual property overseas; 

* Producing materials, such as IPR Toolkits, to educate companies on 
steps they need to take to protect their IP in countries; 

* Conducting seminars and workshops to educate companies on the steps 
they need to take to protect their IP in countries; 

* Raising U.S. industry IP concerns with foreign governments. 

Key IP responsibilities of U.S. government personnel overseas: 
Enforcement of IP laws and regulations; 	
Lead U.S. government agencies/divisions	overseas: ICE, CBP, FBI, DOJ 
(DOJ Attaches), USTR; 
Examples of key activities: 

* Gathering information in support of U.S.-based IP investigations; 

* Working with foreign law enforcement officials to generate 
investigative leads concerning suspected IP violators; 

* Assisting foreign law enforcement officials conduct operations 
against IP violators; 

* Helping foreign counterparts target shipments suspected to contain IP-
violating goods; 

* Preparing international litigation against countries violating IP 
agreements. 

Key IP responsibilities of U.S. government personnel overseas: Public 
awareness of IP issues; 
Lead U.S. government agencies/divisions	overseas: State, USPTO, ITA; 
Examples of key activities: 

* Working to increase awareness of the harms associated with IP-
violating goods among the public in foreign countries; 
* Educating foreign companies on how strong IP protections in their 
countries benefit them. 

Source: GAO analysis of agency data. 

[End of figure] 

We have included an enclosure that provides more details, by agency, on 
the roles and responsibilities of U.S. government personnel overseas 
involved in IP protection and enforcement activities. 

We are sending copies of this report to interested congressional 
committees; the Secretaries of the Departments of Commerce, Health and 
Human Services, Homeland Security, and State; the Attorney General; and 
the U.S. Trade Representative. We will provide copies to others on 
request. This report will also be available at no charge on GAO's Web 
site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

We will send copies of this report to other interested parties. If you 
or your staffs have any questions about this report, please contact me 
at (202) 512-4347 or yagerl@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of 
Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this report. Other GAO staff who made key contributions to this 
report are Christine Broderick (Assistant Director), Karen Deans, 
Martin de Alteriis, Ernie Jackson, Nina Pfeiffer, and Ryan Vaughan. 

Signed by: 

Loren Yager:
Director, International Affairs and Trade: 

Enclosure: 

[End of section] 

Enclosure 1: Roles and Responsibilities of U.S. Government Personnel 
Overseas Involved in Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement 
Activities, By Agency: 

This enclosure provides information, by department and agency, on the 
roles and responsibilities of U.S. government personnel overseas 
involved in intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement 
activities. 

Department of Commerce: 

United States Patent and Trademark Office IP Attachés: 

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) created its IP 
Attaché program to address country-specific and regional IP problems in 
key parts of the world.[Footnote 7] USPTO's first IP Attaché was posted 
in Beijing, China, in 2004. USPTO placed an additional attaché in 
Beijing in 2006 and an attaché in Guangzhou, China, in 2007. During 
2006 and 2007, USPTO also expanded the program to five other countries: 
Egypt, Thailand, Russia, Brazil, and India. As of February 1, 2009, 
both attaché positions in Beijing were vacant.[Footnote 8] USPTO 
officials told us they are in the process of filling both slots. 
Additionally, the U.S. mission in Egypt did not reauthorize the attaché 
position there, so that position ended in September 2008. USPTO 
officials told us they are currently seeking a different site in the 
Middle East to post an IP attaché. As of February 1, 2009, there were 
five IP attachés stationed overseas.[Footnote 9] 

USPTO has established a range of IP responsibilities for the attachés. 
One of these is to serve as liaisons with foreign counterparts and work 
to engage these counterparts in an ongoing dialogue about IP issues. 
Along with this, the attachés perform and help organize IP-related 
training and technical assistance for host country officials. 
Additionally, the attachés work with foreign counterparts to encourage 
strengthened IP laws and regulations and monitor the implementation of 
existing IP protections. For example, the attaché in Russia has worked 
closely with the Russian government to ensure that its laws are 
consistent with international agreements on IP. The IP attachés are 
also tasked with establishing and leading interagency IP working groups 
with their U.S. government colleagues at their post in order to better 
coordinate U.S. government IP activities in their host country. For 
instance, the former attaché in Beijing established an IP task force at 
the embassy that included personnel from multiple agencies including 
ICE, FBI, USTR, and State. In addition, the IP attachés are intended to 
serve as advisors to other federal agencies on their host countries' IP 
systems. For instance, the attaché in India has developed an 
interagency mailing list that provides updates on emerging IP issues in 
Southeast Asia. According to USPTO officials, another IP attaché 
responsibility is to ensure that systemic issues in a country's IP 
rights regime are brought to the attention of appropriate U.S. and host 
government officials. The IP attaché is also a resource for U.S. rights 
holders, periodically raising issues with the host country government 
on behalf of U.S. companies, and educating them on the IP environment 
in the host country. Finally, the attachés seek to communicate to the 
public and domestic industry in their host countries about the 
importance of protecting intellectual property rights. 

International Trade Administration Foreign Commercial Service Officers: 

According to International Trade Administration (ITA) officials, ITA 
had 126 Foreign Commercial Service offices overseas in 77 countries at 
the end of fiscal year 2008. ITA officials stated that 40 of these 
offices have at least 2 officers posted at them, with the largest 
Foreign Commercial Service presence in China, Mexico, India, and 
Brazil. Foreign Commercial Service officers are responsible for 
promoting and protecting U.S. commercial interests abroad and assisting 
U.S. companies as they seek to expand into foreign markets. 

According to ITA officials, the priority given to IP issues depends on 
the post and the need; however, the officials stated that Foreign 
Commercial Service officers are becoming increasingly involved in IP 
efforts, particularly in the United States' top 20 export markets. ITA 
officials also noted that since ITA's Office of Intellectual Property 
Rights was created, in 2004 it has worked closely with Foreign 
Commercial Service officers to ensure that there is more focus on 
monitoring countries' compliance with IP-related provisions in trade 
agreements. Foreign Commercial Service officers are also responsible 
for assisting businesses in their efforts to ensure that their IP is 
protected overseas. For instance, some Foreign Commercial Service 
offices have assisted in developing IP toolkits for key export markets 
and have also performed outreach seminars with prospective exporters in 
order to educate them on the steps they need to take to protect their 
IP rights. ITA officials told us that if U.S. companies are 
experiencing problems with IP violations in a country, Foreign 
Commercial Service officers will also work with the companies to 
determine possible courses of action, assess whether U.S. government 
action is warranted, and in some cases raise the issue with host 
governments. As part of their responsibilities, Foreign Commercial 
Service officers also work with trade show organizers, exhibitors, and 
attendees to promote IP protection in their host countries. 

Department of Justice: 

Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordinators: 

The Department of Justice's (DOJ) two Intellectual Property Law 
Enforcement Coordinator (IPLEC) positions in Thailand and Bulgaria, 
respectively, were created in response to a recommendation in DOJ's 
2004 intellectual property task force report.[Footnote 10] DOJ 
appointed the first IPLEC in Thailand in 2006 and posted the second 
IPLEC in Bulgaria a year later. According to DOJ, the agency did not 
actually post an additional person overseas in Thailand, but 
capitalized on the fact that the newly appointed DOJ Attaché already in 
Bangkok was an experienced IP crimes prosecutor. Thus, DOJ took 
advantage of the existing resource and designated this person as the 
IPLEC. The IPLEC in Thailand continues to have attaché duties that 
extend beyond IP. 

The two IPLECs are tasked with advancing DOJ's IP goals in their 
respective regions. According to DOJ officials, the two IPLECs' roles 
are somewhat different because the IPLEC in Bulgaria is currently 
funded by State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement 
Affairs. DOJ officials stated that because of this, the IPLEC in 
Bulgaria is focused on training, technical assistance, and outreach, 
since these are the focus of the Bureau of International Narcotics and 
Law Enforcement Affairs. DOJ officials told us that unlike the IPLEC in 
Bulgaria, the IPLEC in Thailand provides investigative support for some 
IP cases in addition to his training, technical assistance, and 
outreach responsibilities. According to DOJ officials, since the 
creation of the program, the two IPLECs have traveled extensively 
throughout their regions, speaking at conferences and building 
relationships with overseas counterparts that work on IP issues. For 
example, in October 2007, the IPLEC in Thailand hosted a conference 
that included over 60 law enforcement officials from 12 Southeast Asian 
countries. The goal of the conference was to create an Intellectual 
Property Crimes Enforcement Network (IPCEN) that would serve as a forum 
for cooperation on IP issues. The IPLEC in Bulgaria has been involved 
in technical assistance activities such as participating in a Bulgarian 
government working group seeking to draft improvements in IP laws. In 
addition to their work with foreign counterparts, the IPLECs are 
responsible for performing outreach with U.S. industry representatives 
in their regions to build awareness of DOJ IP activities and to promote 
greater cooperation on IP protection and enforcement activities. 

Department of Justice Attachés: 

At the end of fiscal year 2008, DOJ had attachés posted in 10 
locations: Rome, Mexico City, Brussels, San Salvador, Paris, London, 
Manila, Cairo, Bogotá, and Bangkok.[Footnote 11] These attachés are DOJ 
attorneys. DOJ officials stated that while intellectual property is an 
area of emphasis for the attachés, it is just one of many areas in 
which they spend their time. Thus, DOJ officials stated that all the 
DOJ attachés are available to do IP work, but the extent to which they 
actually perform IP casework depends on the IP cases that arise in the 
country and how they are weighed against other priorities. 

According to DOJ officials, the DOJ attachés work with U.S. and foreign 
law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges on a range of 
criminal cases and investigations, including those related to IP 
violations. DOJ officials stated that among other things, attachés are 
responsible for collecting evidence, locating fugitives, and working to 
extradite suspects. DOJ officials also stated that a key part of the 
attachés' job is to build relationships with their foreign counterparts 
and to provide advice and assistance on investigative matters. In 
addition, DOJ officials told us the attachés are responsible for 
developing a working understanding of the legal systems in the 
countries in their region. Thus, they are able to help inform their 
U.S. colleagues about important legal issues and can put them in touch 
with key people in their host countries' government. 

International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program Field 
Offices: 

The International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program 
(ICITAP) had 17 field offices around the world at the end of fiscal 
year 2008.[Footnote 12] ICITAP's field offices work with host countries 
to develop and implement training and technical assistance programs 
designed to increase the capacity of countries' law enforcement 
agencies and institutions. While all the field offices are staffed by 
DOJ employees who serve as program managers, much of the day-to-day 
delivery of the ICITAP field offices' programs is done by contractor 
personnel. ICITAP has identified 13 areas in which it has subject 
matter expertise, including transnational crime. Intellectual property 
crimes are one type of transnational crime that ICITAP has identified 
as a programmatic focus. 

DOJ officials stated that to this point, ICITAP has been responsible 
for two programs specifically focused on IP. The first of these is in 
Ukraine. Through this program, ICITAP has provided training to 
Ukraine's State Department of Intellectual Property on investigative 
techniques for IP cases. In addition, ICITAP has provided Ukraine with 
equipment such as computers and camcorders to assist in IP 
investigations. ICITAP's second IP-specific program is in Indonesia. 
Through this program, ICITAP has worked with the Indonesian National 
Police to improve their capabilities to gather forensic evidence and to 
train them in other investigative techniques. Additionally, ICITAP has 
been working with the Ministry of Industry to implement new optical 
disc regulations with stronger IP protections. Beyond these two 
programs, DOJ officials said that IP is at times a component of larger 
programs that deal with organized crime in countries such as Colombia 
and Bosnia. 

Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training 
Resident Legal Advisors: 

The Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and 
Training (OPDAT) had 48 Resident Legal Advisors placed in 28 countries 
at the end of fiscal year 2008. Resident Legal Advisors, who are 
typically DOJ attorneys, are posted overseas for at least one year to 
assist in developing the skills of foreign prosecutors, investigators, 
and judges. The Resident Legal Advisors also work with their foreign 
counterparts on legislative and judicial reform and seek to help 
promote respect for the rule of law. Additionally, Resident Legal 
Advisors seek to build positive working relationships with foreign 
counterparts in an effort to facilitate cooperation between the United 
States and their host countries on law enforcement matters. 

OPDAT has identified cyber and intellectual property crime as one of 
its seven core areas of focus that are critical to the mission of DOJ's 
Criminal Division and that represent serious international crime 
threats. Resident Legal Advisors have been responsible for providing IP 
training in several countries around the world. For instance, according 
to DOJ, the Resident Legal Advisor in Brazil has worked with other U.S. 
government colleagues to conduct seminars for 300 Brazilian 
investigators, prosecutors, and judges on the investigation and 
prosecution of intellectual property crimes. In Russia, OPDAT's two 
Resident Legal Advisors have worked with Russian prosecutors to improve 
their ability to prosecute complex crimes, including those involving IP 
violations. 

Federal Bureau of Investigation Legal Attachés: 

At the end of fiscal year 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
(FBI) had 61 Legal Attaché offices (Legats) and an additional 14 
suboffices throughout the world. According to the FBI, the core mission 
of the Legats is to serve as liaisons with law enforcement and security 
services in their host countries. Through the Legal Attaché program, 
the FBI hopes to facilitate the exchange of information between foreign 
counterparts and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. To 
this end, the Legats are responsible for coordinating requests for 
foreign law enforcement assistance in support of U.S.-based 
investigations and also assist foreign law enforcement with requests 
for investigative assistance in the United States. According to the 
FBI, another element of the Legats' mission is to provide international 
training. The FBI states that this training is designed to improve 
foreign law enforcement officials' skills in both basic and advanced 
investigative techniques and principles, to assist with evidence 
collection, and to help build a spirit of cooperation. 

According to FBI officials, Legats do participate in cases involving IP 
violations; however, the Legats have a broad range of investigative 
responsibilities, of which IP is just one component. Officials from 
FBI's Cyber Crime Fraud Unit, which is the FBI headquarters unit that 
handles IP cases, stated that they are often in contact with the Legats 
and rely on them to assist in following up on IP-related leads with 
foreign counterparts. The Cyber Crime Fraud Unit officials said that 
the Legats also generate some IP leads that are forwarded to their 
unit. At times, the Legats also work to follow up on IP leads that have 
been forwarded from industry. Some Legats have also helped provide IP- 
related training overseas. For instance, the Legat in Brazil has worked 
with law enforcement officials there to instruct them on how to do 
searches and seizures of IP-violating goods. 

Office of the United States Trade Representative: 

At the end of fiscal year 2008, the Office of the United States Trade 
Representative (USTR) had individual representatives stationed in China 
and Belgium and personnel stationed in a field office in Geneva, 
Switzerland. USTR personnel have been in place in Geneva and Belgium 
since the early 1980s, with the representative to China first stationed 
there in 2007. According to USTR, its representatives in China and 
Belgium are responsible for a variety of bilateral trade issues that 
include IP. USTR officials told us that in the Geneva office there is 
one staff person who is on detail from USPTO who works exclusively on 
IP issues at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In addition, USTR 
officials told us that there are other USTR attorneys and trade 
specialists at the Geneva office who spend a substantial amount of time 
on IP issues. 

These various USTR personnel have a variety of IP-related 
responsibilities. In Geneva, USTR staff are responsible for 
representing the United States at the World Trade Organization's Trade- 
related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council and 
TRIPS Council Special Session.[Footnote 13] For example, staff in the 
office were responsible for working to put together the WTO litigation 
challenging China's implementation of the TRIPS agreement. 
Additionally, staff in the Geneva office support the State Department 
in representing the United States at the United Nations' World 
Intellectual Property Organization. USTR officials told us that in both 
Belgium and China the representatives are responsible for engaging 
their host governments on IP issues. For instance, the representative 
in China is responsible for doing preparation and follow-up for the 
United States-China IP Working Group. In addition, these 
representatives are responsible for monitoring IP developments in their 
host countries and for gathering information on IP issues in support of 
USTR's Special 301 Process.[Footnote 14] For example, the 
representative in China also supported USTR's development of its TRIPS 
litigation against China at the World Trade Organization. 

Department of State: 

The Department of State (State) has a presence in almost every country 
in the world, with embassies in 168 countries as of the end of fiscal 
year 2008. As the U.S. government's lead foreign policy and diplomatic 
agency, State and its overseas personnel are responsible for a variety 
of activities designed to improve the protection and enforcement of IP 
around the globe. According to State officials, the level of priority 
given to IP issues depends on the post. Goals and priorities are 
outlined by the ambassador in the post's Mission Strategic Plan for the 
country, which may make IP protection and enforcement a priority. 
Various State personnel at its embassies, consulates, and other 
missions overseas are involved in IP activities, including economic, 
political, and public affairs officers. According to State, each of its 
overseas posts has an officer assigned to take the lead on IP issues. 
State told us that there is some variation among posts, but that this 
role is typically filled by an economic officer. According to State, 
the amount of time that this person will spend on IP varies from post 
to post. This can depend on the individual's portfolio as well as other 
factors such as the composition of agency personnel represented at the 
post and post priorities. 

Among their various IP responsibilities, State personnel overseas are 
responsible for engaging foreign counterparts in ongoing dialogues on 
IP issues and also participate in various bilateral and multilateral 
groups that address IP issues. For instance, State's Mission to the 
United Nations in Geneva participates in the activities of the World 
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). As part of these efforts, 
State has an official on detail from USPTO, who works exclusively on 
WIPO issues. Additionally, State personnel are responsible for 
monitoring and reporting on host countries' IP problems and the 
implementation of IP-related agreements. According to State, its 
overseas personnel also help arrange IP training and technical 
assistance for foreign counterparts and provide input on how to improve 
regulatory and legal protections for IP. Overseas State personnel also 
engage in public diplomacy efforts designed to increase awareness about 
the importance of IP among the public in their host country. 

Department of Homeland Security: 

Customs and Border Protection Attachés: 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiated its attaché program in 
2004 and as of the end of fiscal year 2008 had established 20 attaché 
offices around the world.[Footnote 15] The majority of these offices 
have a single CBP official posted to them, with the largest office, in 
Mexico City, having five CBP officials. CBP attachés work with foreign 
counterparts on a variety of CBP programs and initiatives, such as the 
Visa Waiver Program, the Immigration Advisory Program and the Customs- 
Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. 

CBP has identified IP as one of its seven "priority trade issues" and 
it also cites it as one of the programmatic areas of focus for the 
attaché offices. However, since the attaché offices are responsible for 
supporting all of CBP's functions, IP is just one of a range of 
subjects that the attachés must address. CBP attachés are responsible 
for various IP-related activities, including providing training and 
technical assistance on IP, assisting host countries in targeting 
shipments suspected of containing IP-infringing goods, and working with 
host countries on improving laws and regulations protecting IP. 
According to CBP officials, the amount of time that the attachés spend 
on IP varies from region to region. In places, such as China, where the 
U.S. government has significant concerns related to IP, the CBP 
attachés make it a key focus. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Attachés: 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had 54 attaché offices and 
suboffices in 42 countries around the world at the end of fiscal year 
2008. According to ICE, these offices range in size from 1 to 18 staff 
members, with the largest offices in Mexico City, Manila, and Rome. 
Each of ICE's attaché offices is responsible for supporting a diverse 
portfolio of international investigations that include national 
security threats, financial and smuggling violations, commercial fraud, 
human trafficking, narcotics smuggling, child pornography/exploitation, 
and immigration fraud. 

ICE officials stated that the extent to which IP cases are a focus at 
attaché offices varies and is contingent on the extent to which IP 
violations occur in the country in which the office is located. 
According to ICE officials, the attaché offices do not have agents who 
are specifically dedicated to IP cases. Like the offices as a whole, 
each agent posted overseas has a variety of cases on which he or she is 
working. According to ICE officials, the attaché offices act as 
extensions of domestic field offices and the National Intellectual 
Property Rights Coordination Center[Footnote 16] on IP cases. In this 
capacity, the attaché offices will often receive requests for 
assistance from domestic field offices on IP cases. When such requests 
are received, the attaché offices will work with foreign counterparts 
to gather information in support of the investigation. At other times, 
the attaché offices work with their foreign counterparts to assist in 
host country investigations or generate leads for U.S. cases. Other 
leads may be generated through outreach with U.S. companies and 
industry associations or as the result of CBP seizures at U.S. ports of 
entry. ICE officials said that in addition to their casework, ICE 
attachés are also responsible for providing training and technical 
assistance to their foreign counterparts, including on IP. 

United States Agency for International Development: 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had 84 
field missions in 81 countries as of the end of fiscal year 2008. These 
missions range in size from 1 to over 50 Foreign Service officers, with 
the average mission having 11 Foreign Service officers. USAID's 
overseas personnel at its field missions are responsible for 
administering a variety of programs designed to foster economic growth, 
improve public health, encourage democracy and provide disaster relief 
among other things. 

USAID has undertaken IP activities as part of some of its programs 
overseas. According to USAID officials, USAID provides technical 
assistance relating to trade agreements. In some cases, USAID has been 
responsible for working with foreign governments to reform their IP 
regulatory and legal regimes. For instance, USAID worked with Jordan to 
improve its IP laws in support of its membership in the WTO. Overseas 
USAID personnel have also been responsible for working with countries 
to increase enforcement of existing IP laws and regulations. 

Food and Drug Administration: 

Historically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not had staff 
permanently posted overseas, but as part of its Beyond our Borders 
initiative it has begun to open a series of offices. The first of FDA's 
offices opened in China in November 2008. As of February 1, 2009, FDA 
had also opened offices in Belgium, India, and Costa Rica. Other 
offices are planned for Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. By 
the end of fiscal year 2010, FDA plans to have hired 43 U.S. government 
officials to staff these offices. The offices will have a mix of 
inspectors and technical experts. According to FDA officials, the key 
mission of the new offices will be to improve the safety of food and 
medical products imported into the United States.[Footnote 17] Among 
other things, FDA officials report that the offices will be responsible 
for providing technical advice to counterparts, gathering additional 
information about how host countries produce and transport food and 
medical devices, communicating U.S. expectations to foreign governments 
and industry, conducting additional inspections, and combating 
counterfeiting and the intentional adulteration of products. 

In regard to IP-related activities, FDA officials stated that the field 
offices may be tasked with providing input to FDA headquarters on IP 
problems in their host countries related to FDA-regulated products and 
that the offices may also play a role in working with other federal 
agencies to address those IP issues that have been identified. The 
offices will also potentially play a role in helping implement FDA 
agreements with foreign governments that have IP-related components. 
[Footnote 18] According to FDA officials, the offices are not intended 
to be used to support criminal investigations conducted by FDA's Office 
of Criminal Investigations. However, FDA officials stated that there 
may be times when the overseas offices will be called on to gather 
information in support of a case. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are the most common forms of 
intellectual property protection. A patent is an exclusive right 
granted for a fixed period of time to someone who invents or discovers 
a new and useful process, article, composition of matter, or 
improvement of such items. A copyright is the exclusive right to 
reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute, for a certain period of time, 
the expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and 
concrete, such as a literary, musical, or artistic work. A trademark is 
a distinctive sign or indicator, such as a word, phrase, symbol, logo, 
design, image, or combination thereof that is used by an individual, 
business organization, or other legal entity to identify uniquely the 
source of its products or services and to distinguish them from those 
of other individuals or entities. 

[2] See GAO, Intellectual Property: Leadership and Accountability 
Needed to Strengthen Federal Protection and Enforcement, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-921T] (Washington, D.C.: June 17, 
2008). 

[3] Under the legislation, the IPEC replaces the interagency National 
Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council, which 
Congress created in 1999. 

[4] Given the cross-cutting nature of IP there may be other U.S. 
government personnel overseas who also play a role in efforts to 
protect and enforce IP that are not discussed in the report. 

[5] The World Trade Organization, which was established in 1995, 
administers rules for international trade, provides a mechanism for 
settling disputes, and offers a forum for conducting trade 
negotiations. 

[6] The World Intellectual Property Organization, which was established 
in 1967, is a specialized United Nations agency that promotes the use 
and protection of IP. 

[7] Although the IP Attaché program is managed by USPTO, the attachés 
are posted overseas as Foreign Commercial Service officers (their 
official title is IPR Commercial Officer) and report to the Senior 
Commercial Officer at their respective posts. For each attaché 
position, USPTO has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the 
International Trade Administration, U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service 
(ITA/USFCS), to outline certain roles and responsibilities associated 
with the position. 

[8] The first Beijing IP attaché left in August 2008 and the second in 
November 2008. 

[9] USPTO also has foreign service nationals in Shanghai, China and 
Cairo, Egypt who are responsible for IP issues. These locations were 
not counted in table 1 of this report. 

[10] Department of Justice, Report of the Department of Justice's Task 
Force on Intellectual Property (Washington, D.C.: October 2004). 

[11] As noted in the discussion of the IPLECs, the IPLEC in Bangkok is 
also a DOJ attaché. 

[12] ICITAP's field offices are located in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia- 
Herzegovina, Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, 
Moldova, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Serbia, Tajikistan, 
Thailand, and Ukraine. 

[13] TRIPS came into force in 1995. Under TRIPS, all WTO member 
countries are obligated to establish a minimum standard of laws and 
regulations protecting copyrights, trademarks, patents, and other forms 
of IP rights. 

[14] Special 301 refers to certain provisions of the Trade Act of 1974, 
as amended, that require USTR to annually identify foreign countries 
that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property 
rights or fair and equitable market access for U.S. persons who rely on 
intellectual property protection. USTR identifies these countries with 
substantial assistance from industry and U.S. agencies and publishes 
the results of its reviews in an annual report. 

[15] The CBP attachés are also known as CBP Representatives. The CBP 
attachés are located in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Dominican 
Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, 
Mexico, Panama, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, the Netherlands, and 
the United Kingdom. 

[16] The ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination 
Center was established to help coordinate the federal government's 
efforts to fight against IP rights violators and the flow of 
counterfeit goods into the commerce of the United States. According to 
ICE officials, the IPR Center has a three-pronged strategy in the fight 
against intellectual property crime: investigation, interdiction, and 
outreach/training. 

[17] IP enforcement is not part of FDA's mission or its enforcement 
priorities; however, FDA carries out IP-related enforcement actions in 
fulfilling its mission to protect public health and safety, such as 
investigation of criminals that traffic in counterfeit pharmaceuticals. 

[18] For instance, FDA officials stated that the field office in China 
will help implement a November 2007 memorandum of understanding with 
China's State Food and Drug Administration that has a section on 
increased collaboration between the two countries on combating 
counterfeit pharmaceuticals. 

[End of section] 

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