Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) infringements are a significant problem in certain overseas markets as well as domestically. There are multiple governmental bodies involved in IPR. This page is designed as a resource to provide you with the links to, and a description of, each of the multiple governmental bodies involved in IPR.

U.S Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Global Intellectual Property Center, and the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) have put together a manual (Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Manual) to help business owners create strategies to fight the global problem of counterfeiting and piracy. It is useful in gaining a better understanding of their intellectual property (IP) assets and how to develop practices and procedures to protect those assets. It also uses case studies to provide additional insights.

To protect manufacturers against domestic IPR infringements, the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has developed new procedures. These procedures are summarized below, with helpful contact information. Please note that your product must be registered in advance with CBP in order for the Agency to take action against IPR violators in the U.S. For more information visit:

Registering Products
Registering your products with CBP is the first step toward protecting your company against IPR infringements in the U.S. Product registration enables CBP to investigate criminal complaints alleging IPR infringements that your company may potentially file. To register, fill out and mail the CBP Copyright/Trademark Recordation Application Template.

Customs Coordination at U.S. Ports
To coordinate CBP monitoring of your products in U.S. ports, contact an IPR international trade specialist at CBP’s Los Angeles Strategic Trade Center. The LA Center assists in the development of product training materials and coordination of product identification at CBP ports; monitors specific importers for IPR violations; and compiles IPR seizure statistics by commodity and source country.

LA Strategic Trade Center Contact Information:
(562) 980-3119 ext. 252

Legal or Policy Related Questions
The American Bar Association International IPR Advisory Program provides free consultation with a volunteer attorney on IPR issues in various countries, as well as information on registering your rights and enforcing your rights.

In addition, for legal or policy related questions or to interface with a CBP IPR attorney, please contact CBP’s Office of Regulations and Rulings, IPR and Restrictions Branch in Washington, D.C. The IPR Branch is responsible for developing CBP legal enforcement policy.

Office of Regulations and Rulings IPR Branch Contact Information:
(202) 572-8710

Small Business Resources for IPR Protection Guidance
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has created a website ( to help small businesses consider the benefits of strong IP protection — both in the United States and overseas — and decide whether it is right for them. The website includes important information on whether and when to file for intellectual property protection, what type of protection to file for, where to file, and how to do it.

Madrid Protocol Information (Global Trademark Protection)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides information on the protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (Madrid Protocol). The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty that allows a trademark owner to seek registration in any of the countries that have joined the Madrid Protocol by filing a single application, called an "international application." The International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland administers the international registration system.

Register an IPR Complaint
The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, staffed with agents and analysts from ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), U.S. CBP, and the FBI, coordinates the U.S. government’s domestic and international law enforcement attack on IPR violations. ICE agents in the United States and abroad work closely with the ICE Cyber Crimes Center to combat the problem of piracy and related IPR violations over the Internet. Attaché offices around the globe coordinate IPR investigative efforts with host nation law enforcement. If you have specific information concerning IPR crimes, use the IPR Center Complaint Referral Form.

Useful Links

U.S. Government Links
•  The U.S. Trade Representative, Office of IP And Innovation provides information on intellectual property infringement and other unfair acts.
•   The U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress provides information on copyright laws and regulations.
•   The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) maintains an aggressive IPR enforcement program which devotes substantial resources to target, intercept, detain, seize, and forfeit shipments of IPR violation goods.
•   The U.S. Department of Justice, Computer Crime and IP Section provides guidance on reporting intellectual property rights crimes.
•   The U.S. Patent And Trade Office, Department Of Commerce grants U.S. patents and registers trademarks.
•   The United States Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) provides general and detailed country information on protecting IPR rights.

Global Links