Fact Sheet – Major Accomplishments since the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan

June 20, 2013

Fact Sheet – Major Accomplishments since the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan

In June 2010, the Administration issued the first Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement. Over the last three years, we have accomplished a range of important outcomes that have strengthened the enforcement of intellectual property law and better enabled Americans to unleash their ingenuity through innovations that promote economic growth.    

Law enforcement

Law enforcement has significantly increased against infringement that threatens the vitality of the U.S. economy and the health and safety of the American people. Since FY 2009:

  • ICE- HSI new cases are up 71 percent, arrests are up 159 percent, convictions are up 103 percent;
  • DHS seizures of infringing imports have increased by 53 percent; and
  • FBI health and safety-focused investigations are up 308 percent, FBI health and safety arrests are up 286 percent, and new trade secret cases are up 39 percent.


The Administration has worked with Congress and stakeholders to enact seven of our legislative recommendations:

  • Increased penalties for counterfeits sold to the military or national security apparatus;
  • Increased penalties for trafficking in counterfeit drugs;
  • Increased penalties for economic espionage; and directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission to consider increasing offense levels for trade secret crimes;
  • Directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission to consider increasing offense levels for counterfeit drugs;
  • Granted Customs authority to share information about suspected counterfeit goods with trademark owners in order to assist in making infringement determinations;
  • Granted the FDA authority to destroy counterfeit drugs imported to the United States in small packages to avoid those packages re-entering the distribution stream; and
  • Granted the FDA authority to require pharmaceutical manufacturers to report when a drug has been counterfeited or stolen.
  • In addition, on December 28, 2012, President Obama, signed the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act of 2012 to close a loophole that had allowed the theft of valuable proprietary source code to go unpunished.

Combatting trade secret theft

On February 20, 2013 the Administration’s Strategy to Mitigate the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets was released. It focuses Administration efforts in five areas:

  • Sustained and coordinated international engagement, including diplomatic pressure, coalition-building and effective use of trade tools;
  • Encouragement of companies to implement best practices to reduce the risk of trade secret theft and to share those best practices with other companies;
  • Legislative review to improve enforcement;
  • Increased domestic law enforcement and intelligence information sharing; and
  • Greater public awareness.

Trade policy tools

  • The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has worked with Colombia, Korea, and Panama to bring our Free Trade Agreements into force; 
  • USTR is negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will include state-of the-art intellectual property protection and enforcement provisions, and is preparing to launch negotiation of a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with the European Union; and
  • As a result of USTR reports highlighting notorious overseas markets and websites, Baidu (a large Chinese search engine), Taobao (a large Chinese online marketplace), and others have taken steps to reduce distribution of infringing goods.

Encouraging voluntary private sector initiatives to reduce online infringement

The Administration has encouraged voluntary private sector initiatives to reduce online infringement. It is critical to the Administration that voluntary initiatives be practical, effective, and consistent with due process, free speech, competition law, privacy of users, and protecting legitimate uses of the Internet. We also strongly support transparency and openness in all voluntary private sector initiatives. Since 2010, the following voluntary private sector initiatives have been formed:

  • American Express, Discover, eNom, Facebook, Go Daddy, Google, MasterCard, Microsoft, Neustar, PayPal, Visa, and Yahoo! established the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, a non-profit to combat fake online “pharmacies” selling counterfeit and substandard drugs to consumers;
  • AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, and major and independent music labels and movie studios entered into a voluntary agreement to reduce online infringement on peer-to-peer networks;
  • American Express, Discover, MasterCard, PayPal, and Visa have implemented best practices to stop processing payment transactions for online sales of counterfeit and pirated goods; and
  • The Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies issued a leadership pledge to not support online piracy and counterfeiting with advertising revenue.

Economic contribution of intellectual property-intensive industries

In March 2012, Commerce released Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus, detailing the economic contribution of intellectual property-intensive industries. The report concluded that, in 2010 alone, intellectual property-intensive industries accounted for:

  • $5.06 trillion in value added, or 34.8 percent of U.S. GDP;
  • Over 60 percent of all U.S. exports; and
  • 27.1 million jobs and indirectly supported another 12.9 million jobs.

Increased coordination and efficiency

It is critical that we use our resources as efficiently as possible. Since 2010:

  • The IPR Center – a law enforcement task force – is now up to 21 Federal and international law enforcement partners and has de-conflicted thousands of investigations to ensure that our law enforcement efforts are coordinated and not duplicative and that government resources are not being wasted;
  • Federal law enforcement has increased its collaboration with state and local law enforcement agencies through a network of nationwide task forces that have led to more efficient use of resources and several major operations;
  • Embassies in 17 key countries have established working groups to make sure embassy personnel from different home agencies are working together and have developed work plans with concrete coordinated goals; and
  • Agencies have coordinated on overseas training programs to avoid duplication and to focus on priority issues for the Administration. As part of this effort, USPTO launched a publicly available database (www.usipr.gov) to allow resources to be used more efficiently by sharing training materials and avoiding duplicative programs.

To learn more about today's update, please see the Aministration’s 2013 Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement.