By Sara Jerome - 03/10/11 05:59 PM EST
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are working on legislation to combat "rogue websites," which sell copyrighted and counterfeit materials often using the trademark and labels of legitimate companies.
Klobuchar said Thursday that the senators are preparing a bill and will soon introduce it. The aim is to increase penalties on infringers.
Klobuchar said Tim Gunn of "Project Runway" lobbied her on the topic, noting that designer knockoffs show up on the Internet mere hours after the designs are released.
"It's a major, major problem for our country on how to protect that intellectual property," she said during an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation event on Thursday.
The effort comes as Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (Vt.) prepares to reintroduce his own anti-infringer bill, COICA, which would expand the liability of domain name hosts and ad networks to make sure they are not providing a platform to criminals.
Meanwhile, the Homeland Security Department has undertaken its own effort to crack down on rogue websites by securing warrants that allow it to seize infringing domain names.