Chamber Commends Formation of New DOJ Task Force on Intellectual Property

Feb 12, 2010

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder earlier today announced the formation of a new Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property. Not only is this initiative another step forward in our fight against the growing crimes of intellectual property (IP) theft, it is also a critical recognition by the Administration that these crimes are endangering public safety and eroding our ability to create jobs and grow our economy. The Department of Justice’s initiative deserves to be commended.

Intellectual property refers to the “creations of the mind”— from computers and medicines to movies and cell phones—that help drive the innovation and creativity that make up American ingenuity and our global competitiveness.

America’s innovative and creative industries account for more than $5 trillion of the U.S. gross domestic product, drive more than half of U.S. exports, and employ over 18 million Americans.  However, these industries face increasing threats from IP crimes—in the forms of counterfeiting and piracy, in both the online and physical worlds.  For instance, U.S. Customs and Border Protection service last year seized 14,841 shipments of counterfeit goods, value at $260 million, with products—such as fake medicines and faulty car brake pads—especially dangerous to health and safety value at $32 million.

In the midst of today’s economic instability, we need increased efforts to thwart these dangerous crimes that erode jobs and hurt consumers. The newly announced task force will be a key component of a coordinated strategy among the various federal, state and local agencies, along with our international partners, to better enforce our IP laws. Additionally, the task force will also play an important role in assisting the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) with crafting a first-ever national IP strategy—a monumental task that will be completed later this year

 The announcement of this task force is also a positive sign that the Administration is firmly committed to protecting this critical foundation of our economy so essential to incentivizing creators, inventors, and entrepreneurs, and protecting their rights. The U.S. Chamber commends Attorney General Holder for his leadership and looks forward to learning more about the task force’s programs.

The formation of this task force was one of the recommendations made recently by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the new U.S. IPEC, Victoria Espinel.

To learn more about what other actions can be taken to combat IP crimes, please visit the GIPC’s website, www.theglobalIPcenter.com.

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