NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

THE WHITE HOUSE TAKES AIM AT IP THEFT

January 5, 2010

Intellectual property (IP) drives innovation, creates jobs and is an integral part of the U.S. economy.  Moreover, the government has a clear interest in thwarting the growing and increasing complex problem of counterfeiting and piracy, says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  

Our economy is leaking jobs and opportunities like a sieve due to IP theft.  The production and distribution of fake products ranging from consumer goods to replacement auto parts, coupled with the illicit distribution of movies, music, and software has cost the nation tens of thousands of jobs.  At the same time, tens of billions of dollars in revenue that could have been re-invested into a struggling American economy and its workforce have been lost, says the Chamber.

The government can play a vital role in turning the tide on counterfeiting and piracy.  Enforcement works, as was evidenced just recently during a series of nationwide raids conducted by federal authorities, says the Chamber:

  • These raids netted more than $26 million worth or counterfeit clothing, electronics, DVD's, holiday ornaments and other merchandise.
  • Authorities recovered more than 700,000 products in a sweep of 41 cities in 26 states across the country.
  • This coordinated effort involving federal, state and local authorities demonstrated the effectiveness of enforcement policies -- when they are followed.

Passage of the omnibus spending bill portends good news for IP enforcement efforts, says the Chamber.  The bill provides $8 million for new FBI agents to bolster enforcement efforts, $2 million for prosecutorial activities through the Department of Justice, and $20 million for state and local enforcement grants. 

Source: Mark Esper, "The White House Takes Aim at IP Theft," The Chamber Post, December 16, 2009.

 

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