15 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2010 Edition
Title 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 107 - PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 107—PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Sec.
8101.
Definition.

        

SUBCHAPTER I—COORDINATION AND STRATEGIC PLANNING OF FEDERAL EFFORT AGAINST COUNTERFEITING AND INFRINGEMENT

8111.
Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.
8112.
Definition.
8113.
Joint Strategic Plan.
8114.
Reporting.
8115.
Savings and repeals.
8116.
Authorization of appropriations.

        

SUBCHAPTER II—CYBERSQUATTING PROTECTION

8131.
Cyberpiracy protections for individuals.

        

§8101. Definition

In this Act, the term “United States person” means—

(1) any United States resident or national,

(2) any domestic concern (including any permanent domestic establishment of any foreign concern), and

(3) any foreign subsidiary or affiliate (including any permanent foreign establishment) of any domestic concern that is controlled in fact by such domestic concern,


except that such term does not include an individual who resides outside the United States and is employed by an individual or entity other than an individual or entity described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3).

(Pub. L. 110–403, §3, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4257.)

References in Text

This Act, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 110–403, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4256, known as the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, which enacted this chapter and enacted, amended, and repealed numerous other sections and notes in the Code. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note below and Tables.

Short Title

Pub. L. 110–403, §1(a), Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4256, provided that: “This Act [enacting this chapter, section 2323 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, and sections 3713a to 3713d of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, amending sections 1116 and 1117 of this title, sections 109, 111, 115, 119, 122, 411, 412, 503, 506, 601, and 602 of Title 17, Copyrights, sections 1834 and 2318 to 2320 of Title 18, section 1595a of Title 19, Customs Duties, and section 3713 of Title 42, and repealing section 1128 of this title and section 509 of Title 17] may be cited as the ‘Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008’.”

SUBCHAPTER I—COORDINATION AND STRATEGIC PLANNING OF FEDERAL EFFORT AGAINST COUNTERFEITING AND INFRINGEMENT

§8111. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

(a) Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (in this subchapter referred to as the “IPEC”) to serve within the Executive Office of the President. As an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate, any nomination of the IPEC submitted to the Senate for confirmation, and referred to a committee, shall be referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

(b) Duties of IPEC

(1) In general

The IPEC shall—

(A) chair the interagency intellectual property enforcement advisory committee established under subsection (b)(3)(A);

(B) coordinate the development of the Joint Strategic Plan against counterfeiting and infringement by the advisory committee under section 8113 of this title;

(C) assist, at the request of the departments and agencies listed in subsection (b)(3)(A), in the implementation of the Joint Strategic Plan;

(D) facilitate the issuance of policy guidance to departments and agencies on basic issues of policy and interpretation, to the extent necessary to assure the coordination of intellectual property enforcement policy and consistency with other law;

(E) report to the President and report to Congress, to the extent consistent with law, regarding domestic and international intellectual property enforcement programs;

(F) report to Congress, as provided in section 8114 of this title, on the implementation of the Joint Strategic Plan, and make recommendations, if any and as appropriate, to Congress for improvements in Federal intellectual property laws and enforcement efforts; and

(G) carry out such other functions as the President may direct.

(2) Limitation on authority

The IPEC may not control or direct any law enforcement agency, including the Department of Justice, in the exercise of its investigative or prosecutorial authority.

(3) Advisory committee

(A) Establishment

There is established an interagency intellectual property enforcement advisory committee composed of the IPEC, who shall chair the committee, and the following members:

(i) Senate-confirmed representatives of the following departments and agencies who are involved in intellectual property enforcement, and who are, or are appointed by, the respective heads of those departments and agencies:

(I) The Office of Management and Budget.

(II) Relevant units within the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Division.

(III) The United States Patent and Trademark Office and other relevant units of the Department of Commerce.

(IV) The Office of the United States Trade Representative.

(V) The Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Bureau of International Narcotics Law Enforcement.

(VI) The Department of Homeland Security, United States Customs and Border Protection, and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

(VII) The Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services.

(VIII) The Department of Agriculture.

(IX) Any such other agencies as the President determines to be substantially involved in the efforts of the Federal Government to combat counterfeiting and infringement.


(ii) The Register of Copyrights, or a senior representative of the United States Copyright Office appointed by the Register of Copyrights.

(B) Functions

The advisory committee established under subparagraph (A) shall develop the Joint Strategic Plan against counterfeiting and infringement under section 8113 of this title.

(Pub. L. 110–403, title III, §301, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4264.)

References in Text

This subchapter, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original “this title”, meaning title III of Pub. L. 110–403, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4264, which is classified principally to this subchapter. For complete classification of title III to the Code, see Tables.

§8112. Definition

For purposes of this subchapter, the term “intellectual property enforcement” means matters relating to the enforcement of laws protecting copyrights, patents, trademarks, other forms of intellectual property, and trade secrets, both in the United States and abroad, including in particular matters relating to combating counterfeit and infringing goods.

(Pub. L. 110–403, title III, §302, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4266.)

References in Text

This subchapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this title”, meaning title III of Pub. L. 110–403, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4264, which is classified principally to this subchapter. For complete classification of title III to the Code, see Tables.

§8113. Joint Strategic Plan

(a) Purpose

The objectives of the Joint Strategic Plan against counterfeiting and infringement that is referred to in section 8111(b)(1)(B) of this title (in this section referred to as the “joint strategic plan”) are the following:

(1) Reducing counterfeit and infringing goods in the domestic and international supply chain.

(2) Identifying and addressing structural weaknesses, systemic flaws, or other unjustified impediments to effective enforcement action against the financing, production, trafficking, or sale of counterfeit or infringing goods, including identifying duplicative efforts to enforce, investigate, and prosecute intellectual property crimes across the Federal agencies and Departments that comprise the Advisory Committee and recommending how such duplicative efforts may be minimized. Such recommendations may include recommendations on how to reduce duplication in personnel, materials, technologies, and facilities utilized by the agencies and Departments responsible for the enforcement, investigation, or prosecution of intellectual property crimes.

(3) Ensuring that information is identified and shared among the relevant departments and agencies, to the extent permitted by law, including requirements relating to confidentiality and privacy, and to the extent that such sharing of information is consistent with Department of Justice and other law enforcement protocols for handling such information, to aid in the objective of arresting and prosecuting individuals and entities that are knowingly involved in the financing, production, trafficking, or sale of counterfeit or infringing goods.

(4) Disrupting and eliminating domestic and international counterfeiting and infringement networks.

(5) Strengthening the capacity of other countries to protect and enforce intellectual property rights, and reducing the number of countries that fail to enforce laws preventing the financing, production, trafficking, and sale of counterfeit and infringing goods.

(6) Working with other countries to establish international standards and policies for the effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

(7) Protecting intellectual property rights overseas by—

(A) working with other countries and exchanging information with appropriate law enforcement agencies in other countries relating to individuals and entities involved in the financing, production, trafficking, or sale of counterfeit and infringing goods;

(B) ensuring that the information referred to in subparagraph (A) is provided to appropriate United States law enforcement agencies in order to assist, as warranted, enforcement activities in cooperation with appropriate law enforcement agencies in other countries; and

(C) building a formal process for consulting with companies, industry associations, labor unions, and other interested groups in other countries with respect to intellectual property enforcement.

(b) Timing

Not later than 12 months after October 13, 2008, and not later than December 31 of every third year thereafter, the IPEC shall submit the joint strategic plan to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, and to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(c) Responsibility of the IPEC

During the development of the joint strategic plan, the IPEC—

(1) shall provide assistance to, and coordinate the meetings and efforts of, the appropriate officers and employees of departments and agencies represented on the advisory committee appointed under section 8111(b)(3) of this title who are involved in intellectual property enforcement; and

(2) may consult with private sector experts in intellectual property enforcement in furtherance of providing assistance to the members of the advisory committee appointed under section 8111(b)(3) of this title.

(d) Responsibilities of other departments and agencies

In the development and implementation of the joint strategic plan, the heads of the departments and agencies identified under section 8111(b)(3) of this title shall—

(1) designate personnel with expertise and experience in intellectual property enforcement matters to work with the IPEC and other members of the advisory committee; and

(2) share relevant department or agency information with the IPEC and other members of the advisory committee, including statistical information on the enforcement activities of the department or agency against counterfeiting or infringement, and plans for addressing the joint strategic plan, to the extent permitted by law, including requirements relating to confidentiality and privacy, and to the extent that such sharing of information is consistent with Department of Justice and other law enforcement protocols for handling such information.

(e) Contents of the joint strategic plan

Each joint strategic plan shall include the following:

(1) A description of the priorities identified for carrying out the objectives in the joint strategic plan, including activities of the Federal Government relating to intellectual property enforcement.

(2) A description of the means to be employed to achieve the priorities, including the means for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government's enforcement efforts against counterfeiting and infringement.

(3) Estimates of the resources necessary to fulfill the priorities identified under paragraph (1).

(4) The performance measures to be used to monitor results under the joint strategic plan during the following year.

(5) An analysis of the threat posed by violations of intellectual property rights, including the costs to the economy of the United States resulting from violations of intellectual property laws, and the threats to public health and safety created by counterfeiting and infringement.

(6) An identification of the departments and agencies that will be involved in implementing each priority under paragraph (1).

(7) A strategy for ensuring coordination among the departments and agencies identified under paragraph (6), which will facilitate oversight by the executive branch of, and accountability among, the departments and agencies responsible for carrying out the strategy.

(8) Such other information as is necessary to convey the costs imposed on the United States economy by, and the threats to public health and safety created by, counterfeiting and infringement, and those steps that the Federal Government intends to take over the period covered by the succeeding joint strategic plan to reduce those costs and counter those threats.

(f) Enhancing enforcement efforts of foreign governments

The joint strategic plan shall include programs to provide training and technical assistance to foreign governments for the purpose of enhancing the efforts of such governments to enforce laws against counterfeiting and infringement. With respect to such programs, the joint strategic plan shall—

(1) seek to enhance the efficiency and consistency with which Federal resources are expended, and seek to minimize duplication, overlap, or inconsistency of efforts;

(2) identify and give priority to those countries where programs of training and technical assistance can be carried out most effectively and with the greatest benefit to reducing counterfeit and infringing products in the United States market, to protecting the intellectual property rights of United States persons and their licensees, and to protecting the interests of United States persons otherwise harmed by violations of intellectual property rights in those countries;

(3) in identifying the priorities under paragraph (2), be guided by the list of countries identified by the United States Trade Representative under section 2242(a) of title 19; and

(4) develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of the Federal Government's efforts to improve the laws and enforcement practices of foreign governments against counterfeiting and infringement.

(g) Dissemination of the joint strategic plan

The joint strategic plan shall be posted for public access on the website of the White House, and shall be disseminated to the public through such other means as the IPEC may identify.

(Pub. L. 110–403, title III, §303, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4266.)

§8114. Reporting

(a) Annual report

Not later than December 31 of each calendar year beginning in 2009, the IPEC shall submit a report on the activities of the advisory committee during the preceding fiscal year. The annual report shall be submitted to Congress, and disseminated to the people of the United States, in the manner specified in subsections (b) and (g) of section 8113 of this title.

(b) Contents

The report required by this section shall include the following:

(1) The progress made on implementing the strategic plan and on the progress toward fulfillment of the priorities identified under section 8113(e)(1) of this title.

(2) The progress made in efforts to encourage Federal, State, and local government departments and agencies to accord higher priority to intellectual property enforcement.

(3) The progress made in working with foreign countries to investigate, arrest, and prosecute entities and individuals involved in the financing, production, trafficking, and sale of counterfeit and infringing goods.

(4) The manner in which the relevant departments and agencies are working together and sharing information to strengthen intellectual property enforcement.

(5) An assessment of the successes and shortcomings of the efforts of the Federal Government, including departments and agencies represented on the committee established under section 8111(b)(3) of this title.

(6) Recommendations, if any and as appropriate, for any changes in enforcement statutes, regulations, or funding levels that the advisory committee considers would significantly improve the effectiveness or efficiency of the effort of the Federal Government to combat counterfeiting and infringement and otherwise strengthen intellectual property enforcement, including through the elimination or consolidation of duplicative programs or initiatives.

(7) The progress made in strengthening the capacity of countries to protect and enforce intellectual property rights.

(8) The successes and challenges in sharing with other countries information relating to intellectual property enforcement.

(9) The progress made under trade agreements and treaties to protect intellectual property rights of United States persons and their licensees.

(10) The progress made in minimizing duplicative efforts, materials, facilities, and procedures of the Federal agencies and Departments responsible for the enforcement, investigation, or prosecution of intellectual property crimes.

(11) Recommendations, if any and as appropriate, on how to enhance the efficiency and consistency with which Federal funds and resources are expended to enforce, investigate, or prosecute intellectual property crimes, including the extent to which the agencies and Departments responsible for the enforcement, investigation, or prosecution of intellectual property crimes have utilized existing personnel, materials, technologies, and facilities.

(Pub. L. 110–403, title III, §304, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4269.)

§8115. Savings and repeals

(a) Transition from NIPLECC to IPEC

(1) Omitted

(2) Continuity of performance of duties

Upon confirmation by the Senate, and notwithstanding paragraph (1), the IPEC may use the services and personnel of the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council, for such time as is reasonable, to perform any functions or duties which in the discretion of the IPEC are necessary to facilitate the orderly transition of any functions or duties transferred from the Council to the IPEC pursuant to any provision of this Act or any amendment made by this Act.

(b) Current authorities not affected

Except as provided in subsection (a), nothing in this subchapter shall alter the authority of any department or agency of the United States (including any independent agency) that relates to—

(1) the investigation and prosecution of violations of laws that protect intellectual property rights;

(2) the administrative enforcement, at the borders of the United States, of laws that protect intellectual property rights; or

(3) the United States trade agreements program or international trade.

(c) Rules of construction

Nothing in this subchapter—

(1) shall derogate from the powers, duties, and functions of any of the agencies, departments, or other entities listed or included under section 8111(b)(3)(A) of this title; and

(2) shall be construed to transfer authority regarding the control, use, or allocation of law enforcement resources, or the initiation or prosecution of individual cases or types of cases, from the responsible law enforcement department or agency.

(Pub. L. 110–403, title III, §305, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4270.)

References in Text

This Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is Pub. L. 110–403, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4256, known as the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, which enacted this chapter and enacted, amended, and repealed numerous other sections and notes in the Code. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 8101 of this title and Tables.

This subchapter, referred to in subsecs. (b) and (c), was in the original “this title”, meaning title III of Pub. L. 110–403, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4264, which is classified principally to this subchapter. For complete classification of title III to the Code, see Tables.

Codification

Section is comprised of section 305 of Pub. L. 110–403. Subsec. (a)(1) of section 305 of Pub. L. 110–403 repealed section 1128 of this title.

§8116. Authorization of appropriations

(a) 1 In general

There are authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to carry out this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 110–403, title III, §306, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4270.)

References in Text

This subchapter, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original “this title”, meaning title III of Pub. L. 110–403, Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4264, which is classified principally to this subchapter. For complete classification of title III to the Code, see Tables.

1 So in original. No subsec. (b) has been enacted.

SUBCHAPTER II—CYBERSQUATTING PROTECTION

§8131. Cyberpiracy protections for individuals

(1) In general

(A) Civil liability

Any person who registers a domain name that consists of the name of another living person, or a name substantially and confusingly similar thereto, without that person's consent, with the specific intent to profit from such name by selling the domain name for financial gain to that person or any third party, shall be liable in a civil action by such person.

(B) Exception

A person who in good faith registers a domain name consisting of the name of another living person, or a name substantially and confusingly similar thereto, shall not be liable under this paragraph if such name is used in, affiliated with, or related to a work of authorship protected under title 17, including a work made for hire as defined in section 101 of title 17, and if the person registering the domain name is the copyright owner or licensee of the work, the person intends to sell the domain name in conjunction with the lawful exploitation of the work, and such registration is not prohibited by a contract between the registrant and the named person. The exception under this subparagraph shall apply only to a civil action brought under paragraph (1) and shall in no manner limit the protections afforded under the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq.) or other provision of Federal or State law.

(2) Remedies

In any civil action brought under paragraph (1), a court may award injunctive relief, including the forfeiture or cancellation of the domain name or the transfer of the domain name to the plaintiff. The court may also, in its discretion, award costs and attorneys fees to the prevailing party.

(3) Definition

In this section, the term “domain name” has the meaning given that term in section 45 of the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1127).

(4) Effective date

This section shall apply to domain names registered on or after November 29, 1999.

(Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(9) [title III, §3002(b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–548.)

References in Text

The Trademark Act of 1946, referred to in par. (1)(B), is act July 5, 1946, ch. 540, 60 Stat. 427, also popularly known as the Lanham Act, which is classified generally to chapter 22 (§1051 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1051 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1129 of this title.

Section was enacted as part of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, and not as part of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, which comprises this chapter.