Washington’s Increased Counterfeiting Prosecutions May Signal It’s Time to Reconsider Your Company’s IP Enforcement Strategy

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Originally published in InsideCounsel.com on July 25, 2012.

Introduction - Intellectual property crimes are on the rise because they are highly lucrative and historically there has been little criminal enforcement activity. Recently, however, federal agencies have begun to increase their efforts to investigate and prosecute IP violators. From the IP holder’s perspective, stepped up enforcement raises the question: is it better to pursue civil remedies or actively work with law enforcement to protect products and brands?

Shifting Perceptions of Counterfeiting - Once regarded as “victimless” crimes that involved selling cheap knockoff sunglasses and watches, counterfeiting is increasingly viewed as a serious threat to the public health. The FDA estimates that counterfeit drugs account for approximately 10% -15% of all pharmaceuticals sold in the world. Drugs in developing countries are a staggering 50%-60% counterfeit.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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