Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General


Attorney General Sam Olens Joins Fellow State Attorneys General in Urging the Federal Trade Commission to Tackle IT Theft

November 7, 2011

Attorney General Sam Olens and 38 state and territorial attorneys general have sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and its Bureau of Competition encouraging the agency to use its existing enforcement authority under the Federal Trade Commission Act to deter foreign manufacturers from using stolen information technology.

“Competition is unfairly distorted…when a manufacturer gains a cost advantage by using stolen information technology, whether in its business operations or manufacturing processes,” the attorneys general wrote in a National Association of Attorneys General letter. “It offends our sense of fairness when such wrongdoers reap a commercial advantage from their illegal acts.”

Cutting corners by using stolen software gives foreign companies an unfair advantage over those who pay for licensed software. In addition, U.S. companies spend billions each year developing such software, which is then stolen by companies that compete with the U.S. for manufacturing and other jobs.

“The theft of our intellectual property represents economic losses not only to U.S. information technology companies, but also real losses to law abiding manufacturers doing business in our states that pay the costs of legally acquiring information technology,” the attorneys general wrote.

In emerging markets, the software industry estimates more than 80 percent of all packaged business software used by manufacturing and other firms is stolen.

The attorneys general represent 36 states and 3 U.S. territories that are home to 186.2 million consumers and 184,131 manufacturing businesses with 6,720,200 employees. The states and territories receive $801.3 billion annually in manufacturing imports from around the world.

A copy of the letter is attached.

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