“When it comes to protecting intellectual property, we are never doing enough. IP theft costs the United States billions of dollars a year and eats away at the value of a core American strength – our smarts and ingenuity. However, the Administration’s strategic plan outlined this week would certainly exceed current enforcement efforts. We are pleased the plan includes a number of recommendations ITIF made in a filing earlier this year, including improved transparency, better intergovernmental coordination and more effective use of information technology.
At the same time, we continue to believe that more robust and creative approaches are needed. In addition to boosting enforcement resources at USTR, we have called for giving tax incentives for companies to bring IP cases to the WTO and tying foreign aid to countries’ willingness to take enforcement seriously. These are among the steps that would show our companies, workers and trading partners just how serious the United States is when it comes to protecting our IP.”
This week Victoria Espinel, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) in the White House, released a strategic plan on intellectual property enforcement as directed by the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act). ITIF submitted comments to the IPEC, many of which were included in the strategic plan.
The plan includes several of ITIF's recommendations submitted in comments in March 2010.
- “support transparency in the development of enforcement policy, information sharing and reporting of law enforcement activities at home and abroad."
- "work with our trading partners and with international organizations to better enforce American intellectual property rights in the global economy."
- "improve coordination...at the Federal, state and local level, of personnel stationed overseas and of the U.S. government’s international training efforts."
- "secure supply chains to stem the flow of infringing products at our borders and through enhanced cooperation with the private sector."
- "improve data and information collection from intellectual property-related activity and continuously assess domestic and foreign laws and enforcement activities to maintain an open, fair and balanced environment for American intellectual property right holders."
ITIF included additional recommendations in its March filing:
- Strengthen the U.S. Trade Enforcement Regime
- Expand Funding for Trade Enforcement at USTR
- Establish a Tax Credit for Companies that File WTO Cases
- Work With International Development Organizations to Make Aid Contingent on Legitimate Efforts to Protect IP
- Form a United Front with Other Nations, Especially European Nations, to Fight Global Piracy
- Combat Digital Piracy
- Support Anti-Piracy Innovation
- Encourage Coordinated Industry Action
- Pursue International Frameworks to Protect Intellectual Property
- Educate Other Nations on the Importance of Respecting IP
- Use Technology to Better Monitor and Combat the Problem of Global IP Theft