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Attorneys General Intellectual Property Committee Tackles Counterfeiting

Consumers Use Fake Products That Could Do Harm

Washington, DC---The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has convened a special committee to address the problem of intellectual property (IP) theft which includes counterfeit products that consumers use, such as prescription drugs, brake pads and contact lenses.

The IP Committee co-chairs are Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna. They were appointed by NAAG President and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning.

“Counterfeit, substandard or tainted products pose a major threat to public health and safety,” said Attorney General McKenna. “We need to protect consumers from buying and using fake products.”

Attorney General Hood added, “There are also enormous economic effects of intellectual property theft with lost revenues, lost jobs and support for organized crime.”

In the legal arena, intellectual property covers copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets. The NAAG committee will focus on model legislation, law enforcement training, enforcement, and IP theft in the university setting, including piracy in peer-to-peer file sharing.

With respect to training, NAAG recently received a federal grant to develop and implement two intense sessions for assistant attorneys general, local and state law enforcement, and other prosecutors. A best practices manual will also be developed to help states maximize enforcement efforts.

Attorneys General from the following states are the current committee members: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee. Other Attorneys General can join at any time. NAAG Consumer Protection Chief Counsel Dennis Cuevas is the committee’s support staff.

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