February 10, 2010

U.S. Chamber Joins Georgia’s Morrow Police Department in Stressing the Importance of a Statewide IP Taskforce

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined Georgia’s City of Morrow Police Department to highlight the need for a statewide taskforce that will further strengthen Georgia’s intellectual property (IP) enforcement efforts. Morrow Police Chief Jeff Baker recently visited Washington, D.C. where he met with Congressional representatives as well as federal law enforcement agencies to discuss the need for a statewide task force in Georgia.

“The crime of IP theft—in the forms of counterfeiting and piracy—is becoming increasingly rampant in Georgia,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center. “These crimes not only threaten consumers’ health and safety—which have in recent years included everything from fake brake pads and bogus medicines to antifreeze-laced toothpaste, but they also eat away at the local economy by destroying jobs. The U.S. Chamber is encouraged to see continuing support from Georgia’s local enforcement for the statewide task force.”

While in D.C., Morrow Police Chief Jeff Baker met with Georgia’s Congressional representatives as well as federal law enforcement agencies to explore ways that the statewide task force could collaborate with federal law enforcement. This included discussions on ways to obtain federal funding as appropriated by last year’s PRO-IP Act, which greatly enhances IP protection and enforcement with better coordination and additional resources. This past year, effective enforcement efforts in Georgia have yielded several, multi-million dollar raids. The Morrow Police Department has also pioneered training for law enforcement in Georgia and has built a coalition between private industry and law enforcement. The task force is expected to be formally launched early this year. In addition to the Morrow Police Department, Attorney General Thurbert Baker has been an active supporter of this task force from its inception.

“As part of our efforts to strengthen state and local IP enforcement across the county, the U.S. Chamber’s Global IP Center looks forward to Georgia’s efforts and greatly appreciates Attorney General Thurbert Baker and the Morrow Police Department for their leadership on this important issue,” added Esper. “With support from Georgia’s elected officials, federal agencies, as well as various local enforcement offices in Georgia, there are high hopes for this effort and the launch later this year.”

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.

Subscribe for updates from GIPC