The strength of this broad network in the field is that if a prosecutor in one district comes across a scheme that leads him to evidence in another district, we have the flexibility to prosecute wherever we can make the strongest case. No turf battles over who found it first, just what's best for the case.
Using this approach, over the past few years the Department has steadily increased the number of IP prosecutions. In fiscal year 2007, the Department filed 217 IP cases, which represents a seven percent increase over the previous year, and 33 percent more than 2005.
We're devoting more resources and more personnel to IP crime, and we're sending the important message that we take these crimes seriously, and we will punish the actions of counterfeiters and pirates whenever we can.
For example, in August, here in San Jose , two leaders of a software piracy ring were each sentenced to more than three years in prison as a result of an investigation that netted almost half a million counterfeit music, movie, and software discs.
In another case, completed in February, we prosecuted four men from Florida for illegally selling pirated business software online. The men sold millions of dollars worth of counterfeit software from companies including Adobe Systems, Autodesk, and Macromedia over a number of different Websites. For their crimes, they were sentenced to prison terms of up to six years, and forfeited more than a million dollars in proceeds from their illegal activities.
But strong domestic enforcement is not enough -- IP crime is a global problem, and we need global solutions. International borders pose little hindrance to criminals, so we've been working to make sure those borders don't pose an obstacle to effective enforcement.
In the past month I've been to Canada and to several countries in Europe talking with my counterparts in those governments about the need for greater law enforcement cooperation across the board, including cyber crime. It's a concern we all share, and I'm glad to say it's one that's being taken seriously by our partners abroad.
For instance, in Germany , Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries told me that intellectual property enforcement is a high priority of her office. As you may know, manufacturing remains a crucial part of Germany's economy, and the sector has been hard hit by counterfeiting. She cited the dramatic example of chainsaws manufactured by Stihl, a company based in Germany , that's facing a problem with counterfeit spare parts. I realize this example is at the other end of the technological spectrum from the products many of your companies produce, but think for a minute about the threat to health and safety - literally life and limb -- posed by an inferior knock-off chainsaw guard or chain.
It's in part because these other countries are dealing with their own specific problems and trends related to IP theft at home that the Justice Department has been able to build strong international relationships over the past few years. We've worked through multilateral organizations like the European Union, and through bilateral meetings, and we see the benefits of those relationships every day.
One ongoing case resulted from years of diplomatic work with law enforcement in China , and an extensive investigation involving Chinese authorities and the FBI. Last July, China's Ministry of Public Security arrested 25 Chinese nationals and seized more than half a billion dollars worth of counterfeit software in the largest joint investigation ever conducted by the FBI and the People's Republic of China .
In another case announced just a few weeks ago, FBI agents teamed up with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in an initiative targeting the distribution of counterfeit Cisco computer networking equipment manufactured in China . So far we've had more than 400 seizures of counterfeit hardware and labels with an estimated retail value of more than