What the DOJ Annual Reports Reveal About Federal Trade Secret and IP Protection Efforts

Every year since 2009, the United State Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has published a report that details actions the DOJ has taken to implement Title IV of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (“PRO IP Act”) . The PRO IP Act reports also summarize efforts, activities, and resources that the DOJ has allocated to intellectual property enforcement. There are now a dozen PRO IP Act reports available on the DOJ’s website, and they offer useful insights into how the DOJ prioritizes the enforcement of intellectual property rights and the prosecution of those violating IP rights domestically and abroad.

Under the PRO IP Act, the Office of Justice Programs can grant awards to state and local IP law enforcement task forces. The awards are designed to provide national support through training and technical assistance and improve the capacity of state and local criminal justice systems to address criminal IP enforcement, including prosecution, prevention, training, and technical assistance.

Data on these awards—which is known as the Intellectual Property Enforcement Program—is available from between 2009 and 2020:

2009

Attorney General’s Office, MS $200,000
Bronx County District Attorney, NY $43,718
Chesterfield County, VA $199.919
City of Los Angeles, CA $199.995
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, CA $200,000
New York City, NY $200,000
North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State, NC $44,485
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia $17,575
National Association of Attorneys General, DC $450,000
NW3C Inc. National White Collar Crime Center, VA $450,000
$2,005,692

2010

Attorney General’s Office, Mississippi $166,365
City of San Antonio $200,000
County of Sacramento $200,000
North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State $199.978
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department $200,000
Chesterfield County, VA $200,000
Virginia Department of State Police $149,907
Miami Shores Village $64,885
County of Fresno $49.992
New York County District Attorney’s Office $199,800
Bronx County District Attorney $113,103
New York City $192,200
Houston Police Department $200,000
City of Los Angeles Police Department $400,000
National Crime Prevention Council (“NCPC”) $600,000
National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) $300,000
National White Collar Crime Center (“NW3C”) $563,770
$4,000,000

2011

Bexar County, Texas $200,000
City of Austin, Texas $200,000
City of Central Point Police Department, Oregon $196,000
City of Portland, Oregon $199,883
Cook County State Attorney’s Office, Illinois $178,629
County of Marin, Office of the District Attorney, California $197,980
Hartford Police Department, Connecticut $198,038
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office $200,000
Michigan Department of State Police $200,000
New York City Police Department $200,000
Oregon Department of Justice $191,548
San Francisco District Attorney’s Office $198,676
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, New York $148,102
Bronx County District Attorney, New York $103,022
Los Angeles Police Department $200,000
Attorney General’s Office of Mississippi $200,000
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department $200,000
Chesterfield County, Virginia $197,690
County of Sacramento, California $200,000
County of Fresno, California $200,000
Houston Police Department, Texas $200,000
National Crime Prevention Council (“NCPC”) $250,000
National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) $250,000
National White Collar Crime Center (“NW3C”) $410,432
$4,920,000

2012

Baltimore County, Maryland $123,971
Board of Police Commissioners, St. Louis Metropolitan Police $199.961
California Department of Justice $200,000
City of Orlando, Florida $100,020
Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois $213,300
County of Riverside, Office of the District Attorney $200,000
City of Los Angeles, California $200,000
City of San Antonio, Texas $200,000
New York County District Attorney’s Office, New York $199,829
Virginia State Police, Virginia $214,971
City of Austin, Texas $200,000
City of Central Point Police Department, Oregon $200,000
County of Sacramento, California $205,258
$2,457,310

2013

City of Los Angeles (Los Angeles Police Department) $200,000
Mississippi Attorney General’s Office $188,775
New York City Police Department $200,000
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office $200,000
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office $213,300
City of Los Angeles (Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office) $200,000
City of Houston $200,000
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department $194,118
Bronx County District Attorney’s Office $194,115
Cook County Sheriff’s Office $200,000
North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State $200,000
$2,190,308

2014

City of Los Angeles (Los Angeles Police Department) $456.413
City of Dallas, Texas $400,000
County of Essex, New Jersey $393,587
National White Collar Crime Center (“NW3C”) $750,000
$2,000,000

2015

City of Austin Police Department $400,000
City of Hartford Police Department $399.545
Cook County State Attorney’s Office $400,000
Baltimore County Police Department $120,174
North Carolina Department of Secretary of State $367,076
New Jersey State Police $269,619
City of Phoenix Police Department $253,129
City of Portland (OR) Police Department $373,569
Virginia State Police $253,128
City of San Antonio Police Department $400,000
$3,236,240

2016

Essex County Prosecutor’s Office $400,000
City of Houston Police Department $400,000
City of Dallas Police Department $358,534
Louisiana Department of Justice $150,000
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department $400,000
City of Los Angeles Police Department $314,653
California Department of Justice $200,000
$2,223,187

2017

City of Austin $400,000
Baltimore, County of $58,142
City of Los Angeles $400,000
North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State $400,000
City of Phoenix Police Department $390,162
City of Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department $400,000
$2,048,304

2018

City of Los Angeles, California $400,000
City of Portland, Oregon $400,000
North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State $400,000
City of Houston, Texas $400,000
The City of San Antonio Police Department $400,000
County of Los Angeles $400,000
Louisville Metro Government $24,999.99
$2,425,000

2019

Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office $400,000
City of Los Angeles $352,000
North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State $352,000
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office $350,345
Pennsylvania State Police $400,000
City of Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department $400,000
$2,254,345

2020

City of Hartford $399.545
North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State $125,000
City of Los Angeles $125,000
City of Austin $400,000
County of Los Angeles $399,080
State of New Jersey, Department of Law & Public Safety $199,900
City of Houston $400,000
Louisiana Department of Justice $216,622
$2,265,147

The data here—collected from twelve years of PRO IP Act reports—represents over $32 million in grant awards. The average size of an award during this period is $260,370, with the median and mode awards modestly lower (both at $200,000). The year 2011 was the most active for PRO IP Act grants, both because it is the year with the largest number of grants awarded (24 total) and the most amount of money award ($4.92 million).

The State that has benefitted the most from PRO IP Act awards is California, with 30 awards total (and over 25% of the 114 awards that have been granted). Following California is Texas, with 18 awards total, and coming in third is New York, with 12 awards total. While only a few awards have been granted to non-governmental agencies, far and away the most common non-governmental agency to receive an award is the National White Collar Crime Center, which has received 4 awards totaling over $2.17 million. Seventeen total States have benefitted from PRO IP Act awards.

The Office of Justice Programs distributes many hundreds of millions of dollars per year. So, it is perhaps unsurprising that a small award like the Intellectual Property Enforcement Program has not received attention from outlets. But after a dozen years of data, interesting insights from a competitive grant program can be gleaned.

First, States with the largest populations are receiving the largest number of awards, and relatedly are receiving the largest amounts of rewards. But this does not mean States with smaller populations are not interested in benefitting from the Intellectual Property Enforcement Program as well. Government agencies in Missouri (4), Mississippi (4), Maryland (3), Connecticut (3), and Louisiana (2) have all received multiple rewards and none of these States have a population that is great than seven million. This reflects how the protection of intellectual property laws is relevant across industries and markets.

Second, the average size of a single award through the Intellectual Property Enforcement Program during any year has modestly but consistently grown:

Indeed, the trendline would be even more pronounced if not for a special grant in 2014 to the National White Collar Crime Center for $750,000, in a year when there were only three other awards granted. This trend potentially reflects recognition by both the Office of Justice Programs as well as the state and local law enforcement entities that IP enforcement is complex and requires substantial resources to be effectively accomplished.

Crowell will continue to monitor the release of PRO IP Act reports to assess whether any changes in the trends are present.