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Intellectual property (IP) infringement is big business in emerging countries and counterfeit goods ranks as one of their biggest exports. The OECD released a study in 2007 that estimated that the annual value of international physical trade in counterfeited consumer goods was $200bn, an amount equivalent to two percent of world trade and higher than the GDP of 150 countries….
The US government has even made copyright enforcement a key plank of its foreign policy for the next couple of years. The passage of the Foreign Relations Authorisation Act (HR 2410) sponsored by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman in June furthers IP enforcement as a key component of US foreign policy. “This legislation will play a vital role in efforts to protect job-creating intellectual property abroad,” said Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC). “Through increased IP enforcement and an emphasis on protecting IP rights in climate change negotiations, America’s foreign policy efforts will focus on protecting jobs and strengthening our economy.”