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Beneficiaries of Misconduct: A Direct Approach to IT Theft

50 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2012  

Andrew F. Popper

American University, Washington College of Law

Date Written: April 3, 2012


Stolen information technology (IT) is a domestic and global problem. Theft of IT by upstream producers has a pernicious effect on the competitive market and violates fundamental policies designed to protect those who create and invent such assets. Companies profiting from stolen IT are not just free-riding on the successes of those who design and produce the products and ideas that are a driving force in the U.S. economy – they are destabilizing rational pricing and distorting lawful competition by virtue of outright theft. Current legal recourse is insufficient to address such misconduct; new approaches are needed at the state and federal level. The Federal Trade Commission has, and should exercise, its authority to sanction IT theft. At the state level, legislation along the lines of the recently passed Washington statute holds out the promise of accountability for significant misconduct, fairness in pricing, a level and vibrant competitive playing field, and the hope for the production of better and more efficient goods and services.

Keywords: accountability, intellectual property, IT theft, piracy, misappropriation, FTC, preemption

Suggested Citation

Popper, Andrew F., Beneficiaries of Misconduct: A Direct Approach to IT Theft (April 3, 2012). Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, Winter 2012; American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2012-15. Available at SSRN:

Andrew F. Popper (Contact Author)

American University, Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202-274-4233 (Phone)

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