Intellectual Property

Winning the Race 2012 Memos

September 5, 2012
| Reports

As the 2012 presidential campaign moves in the final stage, ITIF is presenting general principles and specific recommendation ideas across several policy areas we believe the next President and Congress should adopt to restore U.S. global competiveness and prosperity.

As chronicled in Innovation Economic: The Race for Global Advantage, the United States is losing its once formidable edge as an innovator. Many other nations are putting in place better tax, talent, technology and trade policies, and reaping the rewards in terms of faster growth, more jobs, and faster income growth. It’s not too late for the United States to regain its lead but it will need to act boldly and with resolve.

Week by week until the November election, the Winning the Race series will put forward creative yet pragmatic ideas in policies affecting taxes, trade, education, broadband, the digital economy, clean energy, science and technology and other areas. Taken as a whole, the series represents a new Innovation Consensus to replace the outdated Washington Consensus.

Memo One (September 3, 2012): Boosting Innovation, Competitiveness, and Productivity

Memo Two (September 10, 2012): Trade and Globalization

Memo Three (September 17, 2012): Corporate Tax

Memo Four (September 24, 2012): Digital Communication Networks

Memo Five (October 1, 2012): Traded Sector Industries

Memo Six (October 9, 2012): Digital Economy

Memo Seven (October 15, 2012): STEM Skills

Memo Eight (October 22, 2012): Clean Energy

Memo Nine (October 29, 2012): Science and Technology

Memo Ten (November 5, 2012): Overcoming the Barriers 

Complete List of Policy Recommendations: Top Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration to Help the United States Win the Race for Global Advantage

"The biopharmaceutical sector supports more than 7.4 million jobs and contributes $426 billion annually to U.S. GDP."

The innovative biopharmaceutical sector provides an illustrative example of the importance of IP-intensive industries to the U.S. economy. The sector supports more than 7.4 million jobs and contributes $426 billion annually to U.S.GDP. Exports from the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry totaled $49.4 billion in 2010, making it the fourth-largest exporter among IP-intensive industries. It is important the United States remains competitive in this sector and that we fight illegal IP practices that could compromise this critical industry. Read more »

Ensuring the Trans-Pacific Partnership Becomes a Gold-Standard Trade Agreement

August 29, 2012
It's essential for negotiations toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement to conclude with a gold-standard trade agreement that sets the standard for future trade deals.

The fourteenth round of negotiations toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement begins in September 2012. The United States is doing the right thing in pursuing deeper economic and trade integration with key Asia-Pacific partners; but the effort will only be worth it if it concludes with a gold-standard trade agreement that sets the standard for future trade deals the United States enters into. Read more »

Ensuring the Trans-Pacific Partnership Becomes a Gold-Standard Trade Agreement

August 28, 2012
| Reports

The fourteenth round of negotiations toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement begins in September 2012. The United States is doing the right thing in pursuing deeper economic and trade integration with key Asia-Pacific partners; but the effort will only be worth it if it concludes with a gold-standard trade agreement that sets the standard for future trade deals the United States enters into.

As this report—which updates the May 2011 report, Gold Standard or WTO-Lite? Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Must Be a True 21st Century Trade Agreement—documents, a number of significant outstanding issues remain to be negotiated and successfully concluded, especially those regarding IPR protection and enforcement as well as market access rights, if the TPP is to be regarded as a true 21st century trade agreement. Moreover, the past year has seen insufficient, albeit some, progress by TPP parties in removing trade barriers. For instance, six TPP parties remain on the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR’s) Special 301 Watch or Priority Watch Lists, which identify countries that provide inadequate intellectual property rights protections, signaling that significant intellectual property protection issues persist among TPP countries. Only two other TPP parties (besides the United States) have joined the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). Significant barriers to foreign direct investment, especially in the telecommunications sector, remain in many TPP countries. In fact, a comparison of USTR’s 2011 and 2012 National Trade Estimate Reports on Foreign Trade Barriers—which documents countries’ significant barriers to trade, whether they are consistent or inconsistent with existing international trade rules—reveals some improvement over the past year but more so the persistence of the majority of the previously documented trade barriers among TPP partners.

Foreign IT IP Theft Damages U.S. SME Manufacturers

August 6, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

It’s vital that that the United States pursue a “whole of government” approach to combat foreign IT IP theft. This starts with the quality of trade agreements the United States enters into (and the trade infringement remedies they permit) and continues through the effectiveness of U.S. agencies and policies charged with combatting IP theft and enforcing trade agreements. While these efforts are spearheaded by the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and particularly U.S. Customs and Border Protection on the enforcement side, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also has a vital role to play in cracking down on foreign manufacturers who are ripping off U.S. intellectual property and using stolen information technology in their products.

Nearly 60 percent of the patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in the field of information technology now originate in Asia.

While the United States continues to lead in patents, other nations have encroached on the U.S. lead. In 2009, 51 percent of patents issued in the United States were awarded to non-U.S. companies. Only four of the top ten companies receiving U.S. patents in 2009 were based in the United States. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) in the field of information technology now originate in Asia. This underscores the importance of overcoming complacency in the United States. Read more »

CNN: Counterfeit Parts in Military Equipment

May 22, 2012
Rob Atkinson was interviewed by CNN on Chinese counterfeit parts in the U.S. military.

ITIF President Rob Atkinson was interviewed by CNN on a newly released Senate report that detailed how counterfeit Chinese parts have been found in U.S. military equipment such as jet fighters. Atkinson stressed it was important to bring this type of manufacturing back to America and to crack down on China's systemic counterfeiting, intellectual property theft and other illegal practices. Read more »

IP-intensive industries accounted for about $5.06 trillion in value added, or 34.8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), in 2010. In total, 40.0 million jobs were directly or indirectly attributable to IP industries.

Intellectual property is vital to U.S. competitiveness and economic growth. We must shore up this sector by fighting innovation mercantilism, stopping rampant IP theft by foreign countries, and imposing smarter tax policies domestically such as the patent box that promote growth in IP.

Ending the Piracy Subsidy

April 4, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

The United States must finally resolve to shut down rampant innovation mercantilism and use its still-considerable economic and political clout to marginalize countries that don’t play by the rules. Any steps the Federal Trade Commission can take in that direction cannot come soon enough for American manufacturers, design and process engineers, software designers, scientists, chemists and inventors – in other words the core of our economic future.

My Free Unauthorized Use, Trespass, Conversion and Misappropriation Summer Vacation: Don’t Worry It’s Not Stealing

March 29, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

After reading an op-ed in The New York Times titled "When Stealing Isn't Stealing," Rob Atkinson used real world examples to demonstrate we should not be blase about copyright infringement, if we can steal that, why not consider taking other non-tangibles freely as well.