May 18, 2009

U.S. Chamber Applauds House Effort On IP Enforcement

Issue Remains a Key Pillar of U.S. Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today applauded House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman’s (D-CA) introduction of legislation that would enhance State Department resources and training for intellectual property (IP) enforcement efforts in countries not meeting their international obligations.

“Protecting job-creating intellectual property abroad is a critical part of our relationships with other countries,” said Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center.  “This particular proposal recognizes that dedicated officials and resources are necessary for effective IP protection and enforcement, and we are committed to seeing this measure become law.”

“We applaud Chairman Berman and his committee’s efforts to tackle job-destroying IP theft by putting more focus on the international roots of these crimes against the rights of American innovators and creators,” added Esper.

H.R. 2410, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY 2010-2011, is designed to improve and support U.S. foreign policy efforts in defense, diplomacy, and development.  Among other measures, this bill would further IP enforcement as a key component of U.S. foreign policy.  To protect and enforce IP rights abroad, the bill authorizes 10 IP attachés to serve in U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions, coordinating with foreign governments, rights holders, the secretary of state, and the White House IP enforcement coordinator.

America’s IP-intensive industries employ nearly 18 million workers and comprise more than half of all U.S. exports.  According to the World Customs Organization, global IP theft accounts for $500-600 billion in stolen revenues each year.

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion IP as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber 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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