Intellectual Property Crimes

Article excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

II. THEFT OF TRADE SECRETS
    A. Economic Espionage Act of 1996
       1. Definition of Trade Secret
       2. Elements of the Criminal Offenses
          a. Economic Espionage
          b. Theft of Trade Secrets
       3. Applicability to Conduct Abroad
       4. Prosecutions Under the EEA
       5. Defenses
          a. Independent Development
          b. Reverse Engineering
          c. Lack of Secrecy
    B. Uniform Trade Secrets Act
    C. National Stolen Property Act
       1. Transported in Interstate or Foreign Commerce
       2. Goods, Wares, or Merchandise
       3. Minimum Value of $5000
       4. Knowledge of the Same
       5. Stolen, Converted, or Taken by Fraud
    D. Trade Secrets Act
    E. Mail and Wire Fraud Statutes
    F. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
    G. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
    H. State Law Provisions

III. TRADEMARK COUNTERFEITING
     A. Trademark Counterfeiting Act
        1. Defenses
        2. Penalties
        3. State Law Provisions
     B. RICO and Money Laundering Acts

IV. COPYRIGHT
     A. Copyright Act
        1. Elements of the Offense
           a. Existence of a Valid Copyright
           b. Infringement
           c. Willfulness
           d. Financial Gain or Threshold Violation
        2. Defenses
        3. Penalties
        4. Reverse Engineering
     B. National Stolen Property Act
     C. Mail and Wire Fraud Statutes
     D. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
     E. Money Laundering Act
     F. Database Protection
     G. State Law Provisions

V. ONLINE SERVERS: CRIMINAL VIOLATIONS OF THE COPYRIGHT
   FELONY ACT
   A. Criminal Liability
      1. Infringement Via the Internet
      2. The Financial Gain Requirement or Threshold Violation
      3. The Internet and the First Sale Doctrine
   B. Internet Service Provider Liability

VI. PATENT
   A. False Marking
   B. Counterfeiting or Forging Letters Patent
   C. National Stolen Property Act

VII. CABLE TELEVISION AND SATELLITE DESCRAMBLING

VIII. SENTENCING
   A. Economic Espionage Act of 1996
   B. National Stolen Property Act
   C. Trade Secrets Act
   D. Mail and Wire Fraud Statutes
   E. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
   F. Trademark Counterfeiting Act and Copyright Felony Act
   G. False Marking and Counterfeiting or Forging Letters Patent.
   H. Cable Television and Satellite Descrambling

I. INTRODUCTION

State and local governments have been forced to safeguard intellectual property, (1) largely because the advent of the Internet has made rapid dissemination of information commonplace. (2) While owners of intellectual property can protect their rights by pursuing civil remedies, the threat of civil sanctions is often insufficient to deter theft of trade secrets or infringement of patents, trademarks, or copyrights. (3) Some intellectual property thieves view civil damages as simply another cost of doing business. (4) Intellectual property theft has become so common that some companies hire "good hackers" to perform vulnerability assessments of their networks to troubleshoot potential security risks. (5) By 2000, American companies lost over $1 trillion from intellectual property theft (6) and that number is expected to continue growing.

The marked increase in intellectual property theft, combined with the lack of deterrence provided by civil remedies, has led the federal government and most states to enact criminal statutes to prevent the theft of intellectual property and protect owners' rights. (7) The federal government has made trademark and copyright infringement a priority. (8) "Operation Buccaneer," (9) a collaborative effort by the U.S. Customs Service and the Department of Justice, the "Joint Anti-Piracy Initiative" (10) which also involves the FBI, and "Operation Site Down," (11) a global campaign against organized piracy, are examples of the government's ongoing commitment to prosecute intellectual property crimes. …

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.