June 19, 2009

U.S. Chamber Commends Senate Efforts Petitioning Obama on Importance of Intellectual Property Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today commended efforts by a select group of Senators petitioning President Obama on the need to defend intellectual property (IP) rights and their importance to the American economy. A letter led by Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), was sent to the President asserting the need to protect IP rights domestically as well as abroad. The letter was also signed by Senators Bennett, Stabenow, Grassley, Specter, Voinovich, Thune, Gregg and Vitter.

“Intellectual property is crucial to a strong economy and job creation, and we commend these Senators for their active engagement in protecting IP rights,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center. “This letter makes a clear and compelling case to the President that innovation and creativity will play a major role in our economic recovery, and it must be protected both here and abroad.”

The Senate letter, which can be read in its entirety here: Senate Letter, highlights the benefits of America’s strong commitment to IP protection, including the fact that industries based on IP employ 18 million Americans and account for more that $5 trillion of the nation’s gross domestic product. “The United States’ commitment to strong IP has been a major impetus in propelling it to the forefront of manufacturing,” wrote the Senators. The letter also stresses the need to protect existing intellectual property rights against international attempts to weaken laws and require compulsory licensing and forced technology transfers.

“It is encouraging to see that members of the Senate understand the threat to IP rights and the importance IP plays in American progress,” added Esper.

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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