Date: 04/26/2010 Description: L: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials view thousands of counterfeit watches with Rolex logos, seized in Philadelphia, PA, April 26, 2010. R: The watches are set before a rolling compactor to be destroyed. Center: Light bulb. © AP Image

The Office of International Intellectual Property Enforcement (IPE) promotes U.S. innovation by advocating for the effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) around the world. IPE’s advocacy seeks to strengthen economic rules and norms, increase U.S. business and private sector growth and investment, and create market access for U.S. goods and services. The IPE team works closely with economic, commercial, and public diplomacy officers at the State Department’s embassies, consulates, and missions to ensure that the interests of American rights holders are represented overseas, and to highlight the integral role of IPR protection in supporting global economic stability.

IPE actively participates in multilateral and bilateral negotiations and discussions on IPR-related issues, and distributes training and technical assistance funds to help build IPR law enforcement capacity in developing countries. The office also directs an international public diplomacy initiative to broaden awareness of IPR’s important role in addressing international concerns, such as counterfeit medicines and internet piracy. IPE is also active in interagency efforts to combat trade in counterfeit and pirated goods worldwide.