Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Leading By Example

Yesterday, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (“IPEC”), released the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement (“Report”). As part of the PRO-IP Act, this report is a required follow up on the enforcement initiatives and economic impact of counterfeiting and piracy for intellectual property.

Perhaps, the oddest highlight was right in the very beginning as part of the objectives for the government to protect American intellectual property rights was to get the federal government to stop using and purchasing infringing materials. (Later, the report specifies the particular problem that government contractors may be using infringing copies of software.)

On one hand, it is commendable that the government is willing to recognize that intellectual property enforcement is a problem even internally, on the other hand, if the government cannot clean up infringement of intellectual property internally, it is somewhat hypocritical to expect the government to enforce intellectual property rights against others.

Perhaps the subtitle explains it best “Leading By Example.” (See page 7 of Report.) The IPEC will also measure public perceptions of intellectual property rights. (See page 47.)

Other highlights of the Report include:
  • The continued consideration for confidentiality in international trade negotiations. (Page 8)
  • A shared governmental database regarding ongoing investigations and cases regarding intellectual property infringement (Page 11).
  • A heavy focus (and rightfully so) on counterfeit pharmaceuticals including a Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Interagency Committee (Page 13).
  • Lots of facts about the economic impact of intellectual property and enforcement including:
    • An 800% increase in i.p. investigations and prosecutions in the last 10 years (Page 29).
    • 50 FBI Special Agents pursuing intellectual property investigations (Page 30).

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