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U.S. law enforcement agencies are stepping up their intellectual property enforcement according to an executive branch report. The U.S. Department of Justice is increasingly investigating and prosecuting intellectual property violations, according to the Annual Report to the President and Congress on Coordination of Intellectual Property Enforcement and Protection released on Feb. 11. The justice department sentenced 287 defendants for intellectual property crimes in fiscal 2007, a 92% spike over its 149 prosecutions in fiscal 2005. The department’s intellectual property case flings hit 217 in fiscal 2007, or a 33% increase over its 169 filings in fiscal 2005. “Creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of the American economy, and intellectual property protection is vital to ensure our economic health now and for the future,” said Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. Other intellectual property initiatives cited in the report include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s secure of about $200 million in counterfeit goods, analysis of intellectual property protection in countries around the world by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and increased U.S. government use of the World Trade Organization to settle trade disputes involving intellectual property issues. During fiscal 2007, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also concluded its Global Intellectual Property Academy, an intellectual property enforcement training program that taught 700 foreign officials.

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