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Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in the Electronics Industry

Craig Thurber

Senior Special Agent National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center

  • U.

    S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement

  • U.

    S. Department of Homeland Security

Telephone: (703) 6033803 Email: craig.thurber@dhs.gov

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), ensures national security and public safety by protecting the health and safety of the U.S. public and stopping predatory and unfair trade practices, which threatens the U.S. economic stability, market competitiveness, and places public health at risk.

We’ll show how ICE through the newly reorganized National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) works with IP trade associations and rights holders to identify investigate and prosecute IPR violators and how the new operational capability at the IPR Center allows us to conduct active investigations making the IPR Center a one-stop-shop” in IP enforcement. Later we’ll discuss growing trends and vulnerabilities to the U.S. import system created by counterfeiters and close with practical solutions that the electronics industry can employ to better protect themselves from counterfeiters.

Senior Special Agent Craig Thurber is currently assigned as a Section Chief to the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security, Washington D.C. The IPR Center is a multi-agency center responsible for coordinating a unified U.S. Government response regarding IPR enforcement issues. Particular emphasis is given to protecting the public health and safety of U.S. consumers, investigating major criminal organizations engaged in transnational IPR crime, and pursuing the illegal proceeds derived from sales of counterfeit merchandise

Agent Thurber transferred to Washington D.C. in 1998 as the National Program Manager in charge of State and Local Joint Operations, then later became the West Coast Field Operations Manager. Agent Thurber also has served as the ICE Interagency Coordinator at DHS Headquarters and spent 2 years with the ICE Special Investigations Unit. Prior to transferring to Washington D.C., Agent Thurber was with the U.S. Customs Service in San Francisco, where he specialized in Commercial Fraud and Smuggling undercover operations. In the late 80’s and early 90’s Agent Thurber pioneered techniques in IPR investigations culminating with the first successful conviction for money laundering in a fraud case against a Chinese counterfeiter in (U.S. vs. YUKA INTERNATIONAL).

Agent Thurber has been with the federal government for more than 28 years, beginning his career as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Washington D.C. and Seattle. In 1987 he joined the U.S. Customs Service in San Francisco and has investigated marine smuggling, commercial fraud, trade embargo, money laundering and asset removal cases.


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