September 3, 2009

U.S. Chamber Commends DOJ on IP Enforcement Funding

WASHINGTON, DC-The following is a statement by Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Global Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, regarding the Department of Justice’s recent award of $1.9 million in IP enforcement grants:

“The Department of Justice’s recent announcement providing $1.9 million in federal grants for intellectual property (IP) enforcement is welcome news for American consumers, workers, and businesses, and DOJ should be commended for addressing the growing counterfeiting and piracy problem that is infecting all sectors of our economy.

This funding, derived from the PRO-IP Act that was signed into law last year, is a key component in public and private-sector efforts to protect consumers from unsafe and inferior products, and defend businesses and their employees who are reliant on copyrights, patents and trademarks. These grants also go a long way to promoting a system of intellectual property rights that are deemed critical to our nation’s economic growth and creativity.

These grants will strengthen coordination between state and local law enforcement – a vital relationship in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy – as well as target IP crimes that demonstrate a connection to other crimes, including those of a violent nature.

Counterfeiting and piracy is a real problem and stepped up enforcement is needed at both the federal and state level. The American economy loses between 200 and 250 billion dollars a year-and hundreds of thousands of jobs-because of counterfeit products in the marketplace. Furthermore, counterfeits are very dangerous to the consumer. Examples of counterfeited products include medicines, automobile and airline parts, and extension cords and consumer electronics – all products that if defective, can lead to serious accidents.

The Department of Justice is taking a firm position on this important issue, and American businesses, workers, and consumers will be better off for it.”

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (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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