Intellectual Property Theft
The Attorney General’s Office leads state investigations and prosecutions of Intellectual Property (IP) crimes. In September, 2009, the Mississippi AGO was awarded a federal grant to support the formation of a state-wide Intellectual Property Theft Task Force and an educational campaign under the project name Operation Knock Out Knock-Offs (Operation KOKO). Also in 2009, Attorney General Jim Hood assisted lawmakers in passing crucial legislation providing enhanced penalties for IP crimes. In addition, Attorney General Hood is a national leader in this area, serving as the co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General’s (NAAG) IP Committee. The Committee serves as a national information clearinghouse with respect to IP enforcement, legislation, and training.
Currently, the AGO has recruited over 100 members to its Intellectual Property Task Force. Members include law enforcement officers from state, local and federal agencies, including, local police and sheriff departments, as well as FBI, ICE and Food and Drug Administration agents.
The AGO is also working closely with the business community to help train local law enforcement officers on the detection of counterfeit property. Some companies have assigned experts to assist the AGO in the testing and storage of seized counterfeit property. Also, the AGO is educating students, consumers, and businesses on IP law.
The Consumer Protection Division currently has several ongoing intellectual property investigations and pending prosecutions. The Consumer Protection Division is poised to provide immediate assistance to local law enforcement and prosecuting authorities. The Cyber Crimes Division is available to assist in the growing number of IP crimes on the internet.