Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act Becomes Public Law 110-403
On October 13, 2008, the President signed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act into law (Pub. L. 110-403) (the PRO-IP Act). The new statute strengthens the intellectual property laws of the United States in several respects. For example, it amends Section 410 of the Copyright Act to codify the doctrine of fraud on the Copyright Office in the registration process. The law also clarifies that registration is not a prerequisite for a criminal copyright prosecution and makes it unlawful (civilly or criminally) to export unauthorized copies of protected works, including copies of phonorecords, from the United States. In addition, the law amends Section 506 of the Copyright Act to provide for the forfeiture of any property used to commit or facilitate the commission of a criminal offense involving copyrighted works.
The Act creates a new enforcement paradigm for the federal government’s efforts to combat counterfeiting and piracy. For example, it creates an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) within the Executive Office of the President. This office would be primarily responsible for developing and implementing a Joint Strategic Plan against counterfeiting and piracy and the coordinator would serve as a principal advisor to the President on domestic and international intellectual property enforcement policy. The Act also provides for improved investigative and forensic resources for enforcement of laws related to intellectual property crimes and allocates additional funding for resources to investigate and prosecute intellectual property crimes and other criminal activity involving computers.