President Obama Stresses Need for Innovation

Aug 5, 2009

In his radio address this past weekend, President Obama stressed that the foundation of the future American economy must be based on innovation. The president said "we need to recapture that spirit of innovation that has always moved America forward." He added that "innovation has been essential to our prosperity in the past, and it will be essential to our prosperity in the future."

The Chamber couldn't agree more. Innovation and creativity will be the driving force behind the economic recovery and future growth. For generations, Americans have led the world with their "intellectual property" (IP) — those creations of the mind that have brought us everything from motion pictures, software, and great books, to cell phones, computers, MRI machines, and cures to the world's afflictions. Today, intellectual property-intensive industries ranging from entertainment and pharmaceuticals, to IT and transportation, employ over 18 million Americans, and jobs in these industries are expected to grow faster and pay more than the national average over the next decade. For this reason, we must protect the intellectual property (ideas) of those pioneering the development of new technologies and artistic creations. Without proper enforcement, the incentive to invest in these innovative and creative industries will be stifled, slowing the nation's economic recovery and stemming job growth.

President Obama's remarks also demonstrate the urgent need to select a new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), a position that was approved overwhelmingly by Congress last year. An IPEC will help protect American companies from IP theft such as counterfeiting and piracy, which will in turn protect both jobs and consumers. As such, we encourage the administration to appoint an IPEC as soon as possible to protect and foster the "spirit of innovation" that will move the country forward, and to send the nation and our trading partners a clear message that America's innovation will be based on the protection and strengthening of IP rights.

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