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US appoints top official to fight copyright theft in Asia

IP News from duytho.comThe US government announced the appointment of a top official to take charge of battling copyright theft in Asia, AFP reported Thursday.

Based in Bangkok, federal prosecutor Christopher Sonderby will serve as Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordinator as Washington takes the fight to a region that is the hotbed of global copyright piracy.

“Protecting Intellectual Property rights in the US and throughout the world is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in a statement.

“My appointment of an Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordinator for Asia is an important step in coordinating enforcement efforts in a critical region of the world,” he said.

Sonderby specialized in intellectual property prosecutions at the US Attorney’s offices in San Jose and Sacramento, California, the Department of Justice statement said.

He will begin serving as the intellectual rights coordinator as well as the DoJ’s legal attache to Thailand this month.

In his new post, he will focus on coordinating investigations and prosecutions of intellectual property offenders in Asia and developing ties with regional law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

Washington complains that US companies are losing billions of dollars a year through the sale in Asia of rip-off versions of everything from consumer electronics and software to clothes and luxury goods.

China is the biggest stronghold of the copyright pirates but the problem is endemic throughout the region, the US government says.

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