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Top Official Appointed In U.S. To Fight Copyright Theft In Asia

The U.S. government announced on Jan. 5 the appointment of federal prosecutor Christopher Sonderby to take charge of battling copyright theft in Asia. Sonderby, who is based in Bangkok, will serve as Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordinator.

"Protecting intellectual property rights in the U.S. and throughout the world is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in a statement.

Sonderby specialized in intellectual property prosecutions at the U.S. Attorney's offices in San Jose and Sacramento, California. 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.

U.S. companies report losing billions of dollars a year through the sale in Asia of rip-off versions of products 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 U.S. government says.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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