U.S. government efforts to protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights are crucial to preventing billions of dollars in losses and mitigating health and safety risks from trade in counterfeit and pirated goods. These efforts are coordinated through the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council (NIPLECC), created by Congress in 1999, and the Strategy for Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP), initiated by the Bush administration in 2004. This report describes the evolution of NIPLECC and STOP, assesses the extent to which STOP addresses the desirable characteristics of an effective national strategy, and evaluates the challenges to implementing a strategy for protecting and enforcing IP rights. GAO examined relevant documents, interviewed agency and industry officials, and assessed STOP using criteria previously developed by GAO.
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