Transatlantic crackdown nabs fake computer parts
A joint U.S.-European Union operation late last year netted more than 360,000 counterfeit integrated circuits bearing more than 40 different trademarks, the European Commission said Friday.
Operation INFRASTRUCTURE was the first intellectual property rights enforcement operation undertaken by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the EU. The two customs administrations targeted computer networking hardware and integrated circuits because of the security, health and safety implications stemming from the potential failure of poor quality information technology. Failure rates are high for fake computer hardware, costing consumers and businesses productivity and replacement expenses.
The coordinated enforcement effort stems from a 2006 summit in which the two sides pledged to get tough on intellectual property theft.
'The success of Operation INFRASTRUCTURE clearly demonstrates our commitment to jointly working with our European counterparts to stop the international flow of illicit goods, and protect our consumers and businesses from these harmful products,' said CBP Assistant Commissioner Daniel Baldwin. 'It is important to also recognize that there is a vitally important but discreet role that these components play in the everyday infrastructure of our societies. We therefore need to be able to rely on systems that are supported by them across various sectors, particularly as it relates to national security.'