Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and several other attorneys general urged the United States Congress to take action to combat online intellectual property theft. Citing that counterfeit and infringe operations costs the global economy upwards of $600 billion each year and 2.5 million jobs in G20 economies, Kilmartin and his colleagues asked Congress to introduce and enact legislation that would cut off international counterfeiting and pirating sites from the American marketplace. Similar legislation (S3804) was introduced last year by the 111th Congress.
The letter was signed by attorneys general from 42 states and addressed to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.
“The sale of counterfeit and pirated products undermines important sectors of the American economy and the jobs they support. It also robs state and local governments of much needed tax revenue from the sale of legitimate products,” said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. “When criminals illegally exploit American creativity and innovation for their own profit, they harm the livelihood and reputation of businesses both large and small. Legitimate businesses cannot be expected to thrive in the face of daily black market criminal activities that undermine their success.
“Today, criminals increasingly use the Internet as a global distribution platform to engage and profit from intellectual theft on an international scale with no regard for US laws. Addressing the scourge of intellectual property theft online requires increased cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement,” added Kilmartin, who pledged to work with local and federal agencies to curb the proliferation of rogue websites and bring to justice those who sell counterfeit and unsafe products.