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More than one million copyright-infringing domain names involved in distributing counterfeit items have been seized in the past year, according to a release shared by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, November 26.
The initiative targeting fake websites, called Operation In Our Sites, was facilitated by an ICE task force, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center).
ICE said that the domain names were “criminally and civilly seized” through the combined efforts of law enforcement agencies around the world.
Working with Europol, Interpol, and police agencies from 26 countries, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations criminally seized an estimated 33,600 domain names which sold hazardous counterfeit products such as airbags and integrated sensors.
For example, Chinaseatbelt.com; Airbagpart.com; Chinasafetybelt.com; Fareurope.com; and Far-europe.com were seized following an investigation in Louisiana.
Alex Khu, director of the IPR Center, said: “Collaborative efforts with external law enforcement agencies and industry have led to a crackdown on IP theft that negatively impacts economies and funds organisations involved in other criminal activities.”
The IPR Center also worked with industry organisations representing the electronics sector, luxury brand-name designers, and film and entertainment companies.
ICE’s industry partners were responsible for civilly seizing 1.21 million domain names and shutting down 2.2 million erroneous e-commerce links featured on third-party marketplaces and social media.
Automotive parts, electrical components, and personal care items were among the products sold by these infringing domain names.
Khu said: “The IPR Center is committed to supporting enforcement actions that target copyright-infringing websites threatening the health and safety of unsuspecting consumers by offering dangerous counterfeit goods.”
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, website take-down, counterfeit consumer goods, online copyright infringement, domain name disputes, branding