September 18, 2008

U.S. Chamber Highlights Importance of Protecting Intellectual Property in North Carolina

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today partnered with North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles to highlight the impact of counterfeiting and intellectual property (IP) theft. At an event on Raleigh’s Centennial Campus, attendees watched the National Geographic film Illicit: The Dark Trade before participating in a panel discussion on the threats counterfeiting and IP theft pose to workers, consumers, and the state’s economy.

“North Carolina’s unique blend of agricultural, textile, biotechnology, and software sectors have made it a hub for technological advancement,” said GIPC Vice President Caroline Joiner. “Given their important role in the innovation economy, North Carolinians have a lot at stake in seeing American inventions, ideas, and brands protected at home and abroad. I am pleased to join Secretary of State Marshall in this fight and commend her innovative efforts to turn the tide against IP criminals.”
Counterfeiting and piracy are a global epidemic which cost the U.S. economy $250 billion annually and have led to the loss of more than 750,000 jobs. Affecting every American community, counterfeiting and piracy endanger public health and safety, while costing federal, state, and local governments much-needed tax revenue for vital community projects.

“There are lessons to be learned from North Carolina’s long-term commitment to attract IP-driven industries, invest in research and development, and protect its home-grown innovations,” added Joiner. “By doing so, North Carolina is well-positioned to remain a hub for innovation and job creation, while staying on the cutting edge of developing solutions to global challenges.”

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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