U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Intellectual Property and White-Collar Crime: Report of Issues, Trends, and Problems for Future Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2004
50 pages
This report examines the main issues surrounding intellectual property (IP) and white collar crime (WCC).
The creation and dissemination of IP is a key component of economic, social, and cultural progress. This report views intellectual property rights (IPR) violations as a form of WCC that also stimulates other WCC’s, such as money laundering and investment fraud. Following the introduction, the first section outlines the theoretical basis for IP legislation, focusing on the economic, legal, and political literature. The third and fourth sections identify crimes associated with IP and describe controversial applications of IP law, which largely involve differences in cultural norms. Issues grappled with in this section include those related to constitutional rights and privileges, economic theory, computer technology, and social philosophy. Also discussed in these sections are the racketeering statutes specifically created to address IP violations that occur within organized criminal groups and international IP issues, including jurisdictional conflicts. The final section presents research findings on IPR violations from government and industry-based reports and presents the survey findings of the 2003-2004 study on the connection between IP and WCC conducted by the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). Concerns and challenges involving IP issues are discussed and future areas for research are identified. One avenue for future research is the identification of the characteristics of non-traditional, transnational criminal groups that are engaged in IPR violations. Tables, endnotes