Attorney General Holder Announces Public Awareness Campaign on IP Theft & Counterfeiting as Danger to Consumers and Economy
Author:  Paul Hortenstine
Date:  11/29/2011

At a White House event today, Attorney General Eric Holder joined with Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, White House IP Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, ICE Director John Morton and National Crime Prevention Council CEO Ann Harkins to announce a public awareness campaign about the dangers intellectual property theft and counterfeit goods pose to public safety and the economy.  

The National Crime Prevention Council is well known for its crime prevention campaigns featuring McGruff the Crime Dog. 

As the New York Times reported, in the new campaign, “McGruff, the dog that has been trying for decades to help humans ‘take a bite out of crime,’ is setting his sight on a new target: counterfeit goods.” And, “In one ad, McGruff — familiar from pro bono campaigns from the Advertising Council, on behalf of the National Crime Prevention Council — tells consumers that ‘counterfeit drugs can put your life at risk.’” The campaign includes advertising on the Internet, television, radio and in print.

Attorney General Holder left no doubt about how important combating IP theft and counterfeit goods is.  He said,

"As our country continues to recover from once-in-a-generation economic challenges, the need to safeguard intellectual property rights – and to protect Americans from intellectual property crimes – has never been more urgent.”

The Hill’s Hillicon Valley blog also reported:

“‘Make no mistake: [intellectual property] crimes are anything but victimless,’ Holder said. ‘For far too long, the sale of counterfeit, defective, and dangerous goods has been perceived as 'business as usual.'  But these and other IP crimes can destroy jobs, suppress innovation, and jeopardize the health and safety of consumers. In some cases, these activities are used to fund dangerous – and even violent – criminal enterprises and organized crime networks. And they present a significant – and growing – threat to our nation’s economic and national security.’”