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Authentic Investigations assists corporations in dealing with the ever increasing problem of Intellectual Property Theft.
Intellectual Property Law is concerned with protecting the exclusive rights of individuals and companies to the protected products they own. Intellectual Property Law implies a protection against unauthorized reproduction and exploitation, and is grouped into patent, trademark, copyright and design protections.
As the value of the intellectual property increases, it is more likely to be stolen and exploited. It is therefore critical a company’s products, patents, trademarks and other intellectual property from unauthorized intrusion.
When someone has a registered title to the intellectual property is of the highest importance that they defend their interests by monitoring, identifying, verifying, investigating, and then taking action against infringers.
In August of 2011, the Star Tribune article, "Fake goods, stolen secrets cost Minnesota businesses billions," highlighted the ever-growing concerns of intellectual property theft and economic espionage in Minnesota.
Some excerpts from the article:
The theft of intellectual property has grown into an organized crime wave that is costing businesses in Minnesota and across the country billions of dollars in lost revenue and pilfered ideas. The problem extends from fake Minnesota Twins gear to fake cancer drugs to fake Cisco computer software sold to the U.S. military.
Nationally, up to $250 billion is stolen from U.S. companies through such chicanery. Jobs are lost, innovation is undermined and consumers are left with a line of fraudulent products that range in quality “from inconvenient to deadly,” said Steve Tepp, director of intellectual property enforcement at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The phenomenon has reached such levels of sophistication and volume that President Obama recently called for a crackdown on intellectual property theft as one of the pillars of a new national effort to thwart “transnational organized crime.”
“You have very high [profit] margin activity accompanied by penalties that are relatively low if you’re caught,” said Victoria Espinel, the White House’s intellectual property enforcement coordinator. “That’s a very attractive combination for any criminal enterprise.”
Trade secret theft in Minnesota may run in the “hundreds of millions of dollars,” Minneapolis FBI agent Chris Golomb said. He noted “a lot of activity” in areas such as medical devices, industrial coatings and films, electronic circuits and advanced microprocessors.
Still, companies are reluctant to discuss how intellectual property crime has affected them for fear of affecting their stock prices, law enforcement officials said. Indeed, half a dozen of Minnesota’s leading electronics, medical technology and retail businesses declined or didn’t respond to requests for comment.
“If the company has any worry of public concerns [or] that their shareholders might suspect something’s wrong with the company, they are not going to participate [in a prosecution],” said FBI agent Tamara White, who supervises the economic espionage unit in the bureau’s Minneapolis office.
White and Golomb, whose job is to explain economic espionage to private companies, say they are making progress in their efforts to get executives to help put away the crooks.
“If we get the companies on board to prosecute, I think we have a pretty high success rate,”Golomb said. “The bigger hurdle has always been and will continue to be to get the company to feel comfortable enough to come to us to pursue prosecution.”