Florida was among the 13 states that received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help fight intellectual property-related crime, it was announced on Oc. 3. All together, the states are sharing a $2.4 million pot of funds.

Intellectual property-related crime includes things such as selling counterfeit goods. Because Miami is such a large, important port and because the Sunshine State has miles of difficult-to-patrol coastline, Florida is a major gateway for knockoffs of items that are protected by patents, trademarks or copyrights. Other sorts of intellectual property-related crime are stealing trade secrets, violating copyrights and infringing on trademarks.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder attacked the notion that intellectual property-related crimes are “victimless crimes.” Because intellectual property theft threatens the economic security of companies and inventors, “it can devastate lives and businesses as well as undermine our nation’s financial stability, jeopardize the health of our citizens, and even threaten our national security,” he said.

Because we regularly work with inventors and small businesses who want to take the proper steps to ensure legal protection for their ideas, inventions and innovations, we know how vital strong intellectual property law enforcement is. We understand law enforcement agencies have many priorities, but we are glad to see the Department of Justice keeping intellectual property protection top of mind. Without proper intellectual property law enforcement, businesses do not have enough reason to innovate or pursue new developments, and that is not good for our society or for our economy.

Source: Loudon Times, “State police awarded $217,971 grant to combat intellectual property theft,” Crystal Owens, Oct. 8, 2012