On February 22, 2017, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen cooperation on combatting intellectual property infringement and trade fraud crimes. AIT and TECRO will facilitate cooperation between law enforcement authorities in the United States and Taiwan regarding cooperative investigative responses to violations of intellectual property rights laws and trade fraud laws, and work together to share best practices, techniques, and information. AIT Managing Director John J. Norris Jr. and TECRO Deputy Representative James K.J. Lee signed the MOU in Washington, D.C..
The signing marks the advancement of ongoing cooperation under the auspices of AIT and TECRO by U.S. and Taiwan authorities to combat intellectual property infringement, cooperation that is aimed at promoting our economic growth, protecting public health and safety, and undermining criminal organizations. The MOU will expand and improve knowledge on arresting trafficking in counterfeit merchandise, the reproduction and distribution of pirated copyrighted works, and violations of trade fraud laws. Welcoming the signing, Managing Director Norris said, “This AIT-TECRO MOU furthers mutual efforts supporting the continued vitality of the U.S. and Taiwan economies, by ensuring that intellectual property owners have a full and fair opportunity to profit from their innovation and creativity free from the threat of intellectual property theft, and that commerce can flow safe from the damage of predatory and unfair trading practices.”
The MOU facilitates cooperation, under the auspices of AIT and TECRO, between U.S. and Taiwan authorities with a shared focus on tackling intellectual property and trade fraud crimes. AIT’s designated representative is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE- HSI). ICE-HSI leads the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), which brings together 19 key U.S. agencies in a task force setting to provide a comprehensive response to intellectual property theft.