What Intellectual Property Theft Is and What You Can Do To Stop It


Intellectual property is any innovation, commercial or artistic; any new method or formula with economic value; or any unique name, symbol, or logo that is used commercially. Intellectual property is protected by patents on inventions; trademarks on branded devices; copyrights on music, videos, patterns, and other forms of expression; and state and federal laws.

The Crime

Stealing intellectual property is cheap and easy. All a thief has to do is copy someone else’s ideas or product. The other person or company—the victim—has done all the work, but thieves can reap huge profits. Intellectual property theft can cost people their jobs, damage the reputation of the original maker of the counterfeited product, cause sickness and bodily harm, deprive governments of desperately needed tax revenue, and even result in the spread of organized crime and gangs—which in turn can damage more lives and destroy neighborhoods. It isn’t a victimless crime.

NCPC’s Campaign

NCPC, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, has launched a campaign against intellectual property theft. This campaign consists of video public service announcements for TV and online use, radio spots, and printed signs and brochures. This website will tell you about the research that went into the campaign, the different types of intellectual property theft, how to keep from being a victim of intellectual property theft, and resources that are available from NCPC and other organizations and agencies.

Intellectual property theft is a serious crime, but there’s lots that can be done to stop it. NCPC hopes you will find the information on the following pages useful in helping to understand and prevent this kind of crime and keep from becoming a victim.

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