In today’s expanding global economy businesses increasingly generate value through the exploitation of intangible assets. Effective procurement, management and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) can be crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage. Those that stand to benefit from a comprehensive IP strategy include the IP owners themselves, content producers, distribution partners, end consumers, and even insurers. Such stakeholders, however, suffer when opportunistic third parties intentionally disrespect or disregard such rights. According to Steve Shapiro, the unit chief for the FBI’s IPR unit, counterfeit goods cost the U.S. economy alone an estimated $600 billion a year, or 3% of the U.S. gross domestic product. The flow of counterfeit and pirated goods is a global issue necessitating collaboration between customs agencies and IPR stakeholders to ensure effective border enforcement.
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