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Intellectual Properties Crimes

Federal, state, and local governments have enacted criminal statues to protect intellectual property.

Intellectual property includes trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

Trade secrets are all forms and types of scientific, technical, economic, financial, business or engineering information of a company.

Theft of trade secrets or misappropriation of trade secrets involves outright theft, unauthorized duplication, trafficking in stolen trade secrets, and any attempt or conspiracy to commit one of these offenses.

Theft or misappropriation of trade secrets can be to benefit a foreign government, or anyone other than the true owner.

A trademark is any distinct word, phrase, symbol, or picture that identifies the source or company of the product.  Trademark counterfeiting is an intellectual property crime, and involves using a false trademark that resembles a registered trademark.

Other intellectual property crimes include: copyright infringement, such as when a person willfully infringes a valid copyright for the purpose of private financial gain or commercial advantage, or if the copyright infringer reproduces and distributes copies of the copyrighted work-such as a song or movie; software, patent infringement, such as a person claiming to have a patent for an invention or design when they do not, or when a person forges, counterfeits, or alters any patent; and cable television and satellite descrambling, such as a when a person intentionally possesses, sends through the mail, assembles or sells a device that intercepts and descrambles wire, oral, and electronic communications.