Intellectual Property [IP] is a legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized. Under Intellectual Property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of Intellectual Property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets
In a day to day sense, IP theft is robbing people of their ideas, inventions, and creative expressions, everything from unique creations and proprietary products and parts, to movies and music and software.
It’s a growing threat—especially with the rise of digital technologies and internet file sharing networks. And much of the theft takes place overseas, where laws are often lax and enforcement more difficult. All told, Intellectual Property theft costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars a year and robs the nation of jobs and lost tax revenues.
Preventing Intellectual Property theft is a priority of the FBI’s criminal investigative program. FBI Special Agents specifically focus on the theft of trade secrets and infringements on products that can impact consumers’ health and safety, such as counterfeit aircraft, car, and electronic parts. Key to success in protecting Intellectual Property is linking the considerable resources and efforts of the private sector with law enforcement at all levels of Government.
Directory members can be extremely helpful to anyone seeking information or requiring a professional opinion concerning Intellectual Property investigations. Looking for an expert just use the website’s search feature, entering the appropriate skill, as well as the geographical area of preference to make contact with an FBI specialist.
Retired FBI Agents and Analysts interested in securing a Directory listing and/or a personal email address need only submit a brief online application to join the website.