On April 3, 2019, President Trump issued a memorandum directing coordination across critical federal agencies to combat trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods. The memorandum emphasizes the importance of intellectual property rights and announces an expanded effort by the Federal Government to combat online counterfeit trafficking. It instructs the Department of Homeland Security to submit a report within 210 days, in which it must:
i) Analyze available data on counterfeit goods and their distribution via online third-party market places, including market incentives, origin, and any other data that supports subsequent policy recommendations.
ii) Evaluate existing policies of third-party intermediaries, the Federal Government (especially the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement), and foreign governments to combat trafficking.
iii) Recommend changes to the data collection practices of the Federal Government.
iv) Review practices of counterfeiters and identify changes to administrative and enforcement actions that could “substantially reduce” the flow of pirated goods.v) Identify types of guidance that the Federal Government may provide to third-party marketplaces and carriers.
vi) Identify administrative and policy changes that would promote information sharing between agencies.
vii) Review government resources and provide recommendations regarding the effective use of technology and increased collaboration with third-party intermediaries for the detection and prosecution of counterfeiters.
We expect a public version of the report to follow within 30 days of its submission.
Notably, the Memorandum is directed to several Government entities, including the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative. This suggests the potential for broad based action following issuance of the report by Homeland Security.