NAGTRI Awarded Federal Grant for Intellectual Property Enforcement

The National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI), the training and research arm of NAAG, recently received a U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance grant to fund its Intellectual Property Enforcement Project. Under the auspices of the NAAG Intellectual Property Committee, which is chaired by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, NAGTRI will conduct two Intellectual Property Enforcement trainings: an Eastern Region Intellectual Property Enforcement Training for 100 state enforcers in Washington, D.C. in spring 2010, and a Western Region Intellectual Property Enforcement Training for 100 state enforcers in Seattle, Wash., in summer 2010.

The two-and-a-half day trainings are designed to cover a broad spectrum of intellectual property enforcement issues, with a focus on the public health and safety concerns of intellectual property. NAGTRI will offer scholarships to state teams to attend the training. Teams will consist of an assistant attorney general, an assistant district attorney, and an investigator. If the secretary of state also has jurisdiction in intellectual property enforcement, the state team will include a representative from that office as well. The training will afford teams the opportunity to meet other state teams, as well as their federal counterparts, and establish task forces and working groups, thereby strengthening the capability of law enforcement to work together in coordinated statewide investigations and prosecutions. In addition, the team approach will help to reduce or eliminate duplicative enforcement efforts which drain limited resources, thereby improving the function of our nation’s criminal justice system.

In addition to the two enforcement trainings, NAGTRI will create an Intellectual Property Enforcers manual, a directory of state enforcers of intellectual property rights, and a dedicated Web site containing intellectual property materials.

The goals of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Project are to: 1) increase state intellectual property theft prosecutions; (2) deepen state enforcers’ familiarity with and expertise in the investigation and prosecution of intellectual property theft; (3) increase the quality of state intellectual property theft and piracy prosecutions; (4) strengthen the capability of state, local, and federal law enforcers to work together in coordinated statewide and regional investigations and prosecutions; and (5) utilize NAGTRI Web-based communication to enhance technical and case preparation assistance to state, local, and federal prosecutors in the bringing of these lawsuits. To accomplish these goals, NAGTRI will partner with experts from the National District Attorneys Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Department of Justice, and others to develop a training curriculum specializing in the identification, investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of intellectual property theft.

For more information about this Project, contact Dennis Cuevas, Consumer Protection counsel, at dcuevas@naag.org.

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