July 24, 2008

Chamber Calls for Immediate Senate Passage of Intellectual Property Legislation

President and CEO Tom Donohue urges Congress to put bill on President’s desk

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, today commended members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for introducing the “Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008,” a bill that would bolster the federal government’s ability to protect intellectual property (IP). This legislation would toughen civil and criminal laws against counterfeiting and piracy, provide enhanced IP enforcement and prosecutorial resources, and improve IP coordination within the executive branch.

“The Senate now has the opportunity to ensure America’s innovation industries continue creating jobs and crossing new research frontiers that will lead to solutions for global challenges,” said Donohue. “By moving forward affirmatively on this bill, Congress can demonstrate its solidarity with our talented innovators, workers whose jobs rely on intellectual property, and consumers who depend on safe and effective products. We urge the Senate to approve this legislation expeditiously.”

The bill was introduced today by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA). It is originally co-sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Evan Bayh (D-IN), and George Voinovich (R-OH). Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4279, the “Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act),” a similar bill that would strengthen IP rights and enforcement.

“Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Specter and the bill’s co-sponsors should be commended for making sure this critical issue received the attention it deserves,” added Donohue. “They have kept their eye on the ball and never lost sight of the need to support America’s innovators. Now it’s time to get an intellectual property bill passed and on the President’s desk.”

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion IP as a vital engine of global development, growth, and human progress.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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