42 senators support strong intellectual property rights in climate change talks

In a bipartisan effort led by Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio, 42 senators signed a letter to President Barack Obama Nov. 2 voicing support for preserving strong intellectual property rights in the U.N. climate change talks.

“As you know, some countries have suggested including measures to weaken intellectual property rights in the negotiations. We would oppose any such measures vigorously,” the letter said.

The Democratic and Republican senators thanked Obama for standing “with American workers, manufacturers, and innovators in making clear that your administration does not support measures to weaken intellectual property rights” in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. They contended that intellectual property rights allow innovators to attract the investment needed to develop and market their ideas, thereby promoting economic growth and creating high-value American jobs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded the senators for supporting U.S. workers, manufacturers and innovators. “This letter clearly demonstrates the Senate’s commitment to American workers and the intellectual property system that protects innovation and its role in addressing global challenges,” Mark Esper, executive vice president of the chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center, said in a Nov. 4 news release. “There is a consensus among both Democrats and Republicans that in order to successfully address our environmental and energy goals, IP must be protected, and this position should be reflected in U.S. priorities going into Copenhagen. If there is going to be any agreement, it must not contain language that weakens IP.”

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