February 5, 2010

U.S. Chamber Hails Passage of Cybersecurity Measure Enhancing Efforts to Fight IP Crimes

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today hailed the passage of H.R. 4061, legislation that would enhance law enforcement’s ability to detect, investigate and prosecute cybercrimes, including crimes that involve the theft of intellectual property (IP). Dr. Mark T. Esper, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber’s GIPC, issued the following statement regarding the passage of this measure:

“By enhancing law enforcement’s ability to detect, investigate and prosecute cybercrimes, Congress is taking an important step to further address the crime of Internet piracy and the damaging effect IP theft has on American jobs and our economy.

“The House of Representatives should be commended for its steadfast support of IP rights and active role in helping to ensure that intellectual property is protected online. This vote is a clear indication that lawmakers understand the value IP has on job creation and the role it can play in our economic recovery.  We hope the Senate will take similar action soon and send this bill to the President.”

Intellectual property is those creations of the mind—from new medicines and business software, to the latest cell phones, movies, and music—that help drive the innovation and creativity that have marked America’s spirit of enterprise and spurred economic growth. The United States’ intellectual property is worth over $5 trillion to the U.S. economy and accounts for more than one-half of all U.S. exports.  IP dependent-industries, which rely on patents, copyrights and trademarks to protect inventors’ and artists’ rights,  employ over 18 million Americans.

Online IP theft is a growing problem that has a detrimental impact on America’s economy. It has been estimated that in one year, global online piracy—the theft of movies, music, books, and other copyrighted items—cost the U.S. economy $52 billion in lost tax revenue, impacting tens of thousands of jobs. The importance of this to the U.S. economy cannot be overstated. Copyright industries are increasingly important to the U.S. economy, representing more than 11% of the GDP and more than 8% of the U.S. workforce, and growing at a rate that is twice that of the U.S. economy as a whole.

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 of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

For more information, please contact Trinh Nguyen at 202-463-5379.

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