Business group calls for U.S. IP strategy plan

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A U.S. business group is calling on the Obama administration to deliver by this summer the country’s first national strategy plan for protecting intellectual property.

The Global IP Center, a branch of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce set up in 2007, sent letters to President Obama and members of Congress outliningthe group’s positions. Drafting a national IP strategy is among the group’s top concerns.

“A government-wide national intellectual property strategy should be a fundamental part of our nation’s job strategy,” said David Hirschmann, president and chief executive of GIPC.

The PRO-IP Act passed by Congress mandates the administration create a national IP strategy. President Obama has already named Victoria Espinel to the new position of U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) as one provision of the bill.

“In 2010, the administration should ensure the IPEC has the requisite authority, budget and staff to successfully carry out her duties,” Hirschmann said in a letter to administration officials made public Thursday (Feb 18.). “Chief among those tasks is coordinating the development of a first-ever, government-wide, joint strategic plan for intellectual property,” he added.

Previously, other leaders in the patent sector have called for setting up a cabinet-level post for intellectual property issues. The current push comes at a time when a widely debated draft patent reform bill is stalled in Congressdue to the health care debate.

GIPC is also pushing for new legislation to help curb IP theft in the U.S., especially unauthorized use of media online. Internationally, GPIC advocates the signing of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement this year, further engagement with countries such as China and India to improve their IP rights regimes and greater international cooperation to advance the protection and enforcement of IP rights.

“America’s innovative and creative industries account for more than $5 trillion of the U.S. gross domestic product, drive more than half of U.S. exports, and employ over 18 million Americans,” said Mark Esper, executive vice president of GIPC, speaking in a press statement.

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