United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas Robert Pitman announced that the San Antonio Police Department and the Austin Police Department will each receive $200,000 in federal grant money to combat the purchase and sale of counterfeit and pirated products.
The announcement is part of a broader national announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole that more than $2.4 million in grants is being awarded to 13 jurisdictions around the country to combat this problem.
Intellectual Property (IP) theft refers to the violation of criminal laws that protect copyrights, patents, trademarks, other forms of intellectual property and trade secrets, both in the United States and abroad. In some cases, these activities are used to fund dangerous or even violent criminal enterprises and organized crime networks.
The San Antonio Police Department has been awarded $200,000 in support of its Targeting Intellectual Property Project (TIPP). The goal of this project is the protection intellectual property rights and the public by reducing the number of pirated and counterfeited goods sold or manufactured and prosecuting those parties responsible for distributing, trafficking in, manufacturing or otherwise profiting from these illegal items.
The Austin Police Department has been awarded $200,000 to implement the City of Austin Intellectual Property Crime Enforcement (IPCE) Program, the primary goal of which is increased criminal investigation, prosecution, prevention, and education activities related to IP theft.
“These grants reflect our commitment to identify and prosecute the violation of intellectual property rights in San Antonio and Austin,” stated Pitman. “Intellectual property theft is like any other form of theft in that it deprives a legal owner of the fruits of his or her creativity and industry.”
The grants include providing reimbursement of expenses incurred in performing criminal enforcement operations, such as overtime payments, storage fees for seized evidence, training and technical assistance.
Other jurisdictions receiving grants include: Baltimore, Md. County Police Department; the California Department of Justice; Central Point, Ore.; Cook County, Ill.; Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office; New York County District Attorney’s Office; Orlando, Fla.; Riverside County, Calif.; Sacramento County, Calif.; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; and the Virginia State Police.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas