May 16, 2007

It was recently announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will be forwarding proposed legislation to Congress to increase the penalties related to intellectual property piracy. This legislation, called the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007, includes several changes to IP piracy penalties, including:

- increasing the maximum prison term for counterfeiting offenses resulting in physical harm from 10 to 20 years;

- stronger penalties for repeat copyright piracy offenders; and

- forfeiting all profits related to piracy operations, including the property and equipment used during the production of counterfeit goods.

According to the Bureau of National Affairs news article (link below, subscription required), U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was quoted as saying that it is “clear that this administration cares very much about the protection of intellectual property” and that “[w]e have dedicated more resources than ever before” regarding the protection of U.S. intellectual property rights. The E-commerce Times News Network article (link below) also references the inclusion of the crime of an “attempt” to commit an intellectual property crime in the Act. This crime of “attempt”, along with others not listed above, are discussed in the CNET Networks article (link below).

Bureau of National Affairs News Article: LINK
U.S. Department of Justice Press Release: LINK
ECT News Network Article: LINK
Transcript of May 14 Comments by Alberto Gonzales: LINK
CNET Networks Article: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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