Document Type


Publication Date

January 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.