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Federal Intellectual Property Theft Attorneys

Intellectual property theft is the illicit taking and distribution (usually for personal financial gain) of ideas, inventions, and creative expressions, and everything from trade secrets to proprietary property (music and film, for example) has been subject to this federal crime. Especially with the widespread growth of the internet and digital file services, intellectual property theft and internet piracy have become targets for aggressive federal prosecution.

Federal Piracy Charges

If you or a loved one is under investigation for, or charged with, piracy or intellectual property theft, you need to hire an experienced federal crimes attorney as soon as possible. Convictions for these crimes often carry massive consequences, including large fines and extensive imprisonment. Don’t lose your freedoms and contact the intellectual property theft lawyers in Michigan at Grabel & Associates at 1-800-342-7896.

Intellectual Property Theft as a Federal Crime

According to the FBI, intellectual property theft costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars a year while robbing jobs and tax revenues. For these reasons, among others, the FBI criminal division diligently investigates and prosecutes alleged offenders. Moreover, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center partners with over 21 federal agencies to curb this crime. Intellectual property theft becomes a federal crime when it involves:

  • Copyright infringement — Infringement for commercial activity can carry a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment if it involves at least 10 copies with a retail value of $2,500 or more. If there is no financial gain, the defendant may be facing one year in prison if he/she distributed any number of copies having a retail value of $1,000 or more. The defendant may be facing three years in prison if he/she distributed any number of copies having a retail value of $2,500 or more.
  • Trade secret theft — Due to the Economic Espionage Act, offenders may face up to 10 years imprisonment for stealing trade secrets involved in interstate commerce.
  • Trademark counterfeiting — Due to the Trademark Counterfeiting Act, offenders who knowingly traffic goods bearing a counterfeit trademark may face up to 10 years imprisonment.

Remember that there are many other types of intellectual property theft. The potential penalties, and laws governing the instances of theft, depend on the circumstances surrounding the piracy.

Internet Piracy

You can find almost anything online, including music, films, poems, novels, and many other types of entertainment, software, artistic productions, and so forth. Piracy is not as serious as other types of computer crimes, and law-abiding citizens can easily come across copyrighted media. Nonetheless, individuals who knowingly distribute copyrighted material, and make this material available for public access, can face up to three years imprisonment if convicted. If an individual commits piracy for financial gain, then he/she may be facing up to five years imprisonment.

Other Types of Intellectual Property Theft

Intellectual property theft can take many forms. With the rise of digital technologies, federal prosecutors often discover new forms of piracy and intellectual property theft, and as such, federal agents are always trying to keep up with various schemes. Some other types of intellectual property theft can include:

  • Counterfeit drug trafficking — For counterfeiting drugs or certain types of military goods and services, you may be facing up to 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
  • Counterfeit labeling — For making counterfeit labels, documentation, or packaging, you may be facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
  • Pre-Release Criminal Copyright Infringement — For pre-release piracy, you may be facing up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
  • Recording Movies in Theaters — For recording movies playing in public theaters, you may be facing up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Possible Defenses for an Intellectual Property Theft Charge

Whether you find out you’re under investigation for intellectual property theft, or you’ve already been arrested, a federal crimes attorney will be one of your best assets to protect your rights and fight for your freedom. Although the specific defense that our attorneys use will depend on the unique circumstances of your case, there are some common defenses that have proved successful in the past. Some of these defenses include:

  • Lack of intent — The defendant did not knowingly attempt to steal property.
  • Lack of ownership rights by the plaintiff — The material in question was not protected by intellectual property laws.
  • Fair use — The defendant used the copyright material for an educational purpose (this defense can be highly complex)

No matter your case, you can expect the federal crimes attorneys from Grabel & Associates to provide a thorough, aggressive, and professional defense for your charges. We’ll use the full extent of the law to challenge the prosecution’s narrative and evidence, and we’ll confront the charges from every angle. More importantly, we’ll always work with you, one-on-one, to make sure that you’re informed and that your interests lead our defense strategy.

For a free consultation, contact our federal crimes law office today by dialing 1-800-342-7896.


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