Branded goods, copyrighted material, patented inventions and trade secrets require the investment of significant time and resources to create, but they are often misappropriated for commercial gain at a minimal to no cost, resulting in a significantly high profit margin for a criminal actor. Indeed, according to one estimate, the worldwide market for counterfeit and pirated products alone could be as high as $1.8 trillion this year, and growing at rate of 22% per year. The Obama Administration is committed to continuing to be vigilant in addressing threats to intellectual property -- including corporate and state sponsored trade secret misappropriation -- that jeopardize our status as the world’s leader for innovation and creativity, pose a considerable threat to public health and safety, undermine legitimate business, and harm other national interests.
The Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) has been assessing the U.S. Government’s domestic and international IP enforcement efforts with respect to copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets, including specifically the nature of our efforts to combat commercial piracy, counterfeiting, trade secret theft and other related intellectual property crimes.
Currently, we are in the last year of our existing Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement (issued in 2013), and a new 3-year strategic plan advancing our intellectual property enforcement and policy priorities for 2016-2019 will need to be presented to the President and to the Congress within the next year. As the Administration’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, I have re-constituted, and will be chairing, two interagency committees that have a key role in developing and implementing the national Joint Strategic Plan, namely, the Senior Advisory Committee and the IP Enforcement Committee. To ensure we receive input from all stakeholders in crafting the 2016-2019 Joint Strategic Plan, today we published a notice in the Federal Register asking interested parties to give us their ideas on advancing the Nation’s intellectual property enforcement and policy priorities.
Through continued dialogue with a full range of interested stakeholders−such as IP rights holders, trade and professional associations, public interest groups and academia−we can best provide the legal, regulatory, and policy environment appropriate for a rapidly evolving intellectual property landscape. This discussion with stakeholders will also help advance a thoughtful, strong and effective approach to the promotion and protection of the Nation’s intellectual property rights.
The story of intellectual property, after all, is a story about the power of innovation and creativity, of American jobs, of U.S. economic growth and national competitiveness. We are a country of risk takers and entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and creative thinkers. Intellectual property is everywhere, and every industry either produces IP or relies on it. As the Department of Commerce outlined in a recent report, the creativity and ingenuity of the American people have served as our national engine for creating and supporting tens of millions of jobs, contributing trillions of dollars in value, and representing nearly 35% of our Nation’s GDP and over 60% of U.S. exports.
With so much at stake, it is critical we get it right, and to do that, we need YOUR input!
Danny Marti is the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at the White House Office of Management and Budget