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New group aims to be ‘one-stop shop’ for intellectual property protection

New group aims to be ‘one-stop shop’ for intellectual property protection

IP House aims to protect businesses against intellectual property theft.

A new group seeks to be the “one-stop shop” for intellectual property protection and for protecting American businesses.

The IP House, created by former Homeland Security Investigations executive director Steve Francis and former Motion Picture Association executive vice president and head of global content protection Jan van Voorn, seeks to embrace a “comprehensive approach” to combat intellectual property theft.

Intellectual property theft involves stealing an idea or invention from an individual or company. This can often happen when someone steals things like copyrights or trademarks, according to Homeland Security Investigations.

Intellectual property is stolen in a variety of ways, from counterfeit products like fake sports jerseys to different types of software products developed by a company.

“When you look at intellectual property and intellectual property crimes in general, there’s never really a single person in a country doing one thing. It actually extends across multiple jurisdictions,” Voorn said. “Because of the multiple people involved, the money goes to another country. It really needs that kind of comprehensive approach. And that doesn’t really exist right now.”

The group will focus on protecting not only large companies, but also wants to work with “vulnerable” small and medium-sized businesses that may have no recourse if their intellectual property is stolen.

“This new company, IP house, will allow everything to come together, be integrated and efficient, and not only focus on the health and safety aspects of intellectual property crimes, but also really focus on everything from copyright to trademarks,” Francis told ABC News.

The company’s primary goal, Francis said, will be to “dismantle and disrupt” bad actor networks “by working with law enforcement and public-private partnerships.”

Francis said his tenure as a federal agent and head of the agency that conducts the most investigations into intellectual property crimes will be helpful in creating the new company, and that he will leverage take advantage of civil enforcement actions businesses can take to stop property theft.

“Those thresholds for federal prosecution are very high,” he said. “One of our clients might say, ‘I don’t really want to invest significantly in a lawsuit. I don’t think it will ever reach those thresholds. But maybe you can just disrupt things.’ “

A disruption can range from going to speak to someone suspected of manufacturing counterfeit products to being sent a cease and desist letter.

He said they will have partners on every continent in the world.

Voorn said ultimately it’s about keeping consumers safe.

“A lot of my motivation is to keep consumers safe,” Voorn said — and one way to do that is to make sure consumers know that when they put their information on a website selling fraudulent products, it could be disastrous.

Voorn said it’s about educating the public and he would like to see IP House partner with universities to raise awareness about counterfeit products.