Strategic Plan Details Federal IP Policies Over the Next Three Years

    Jan 10, 2017

    The Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) on December 13 released a Joint Strategic Plan which details how federal agencies should implement intellectual property (IP) policies over the next three years. The plan provides a blueprint for how agencies should coordinate resources and priorities, and work with state and local governments and the private sector to collaborate on effective IP rights enforcement.

    Several agencies played a key role in the development of the plan, including the Department of Justice, which is responsible for the enforcement of the criminal laws protecting IP; the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is responsible for promoting clear, consistent, high-quality, and enforceable IP rights to enable market growth; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is responsible for anti-counterfeiting enforcement, including the dismantlement of domestic and international black-market criminal organizations.

    “The mission of the Federal Government in supporting creativity, innovation, and enterprise through the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights must be ambitious,” wrote Daniel Marti, the IP enforcement coordinator, in the report. “The threats posed by patent, trademark, and copyright infringement, and the misappropriation of trade secrets, are real and multidimensional. Our work must be carried forward with a sense of urgency in order to minimize these threats and the often overlooked attendant harms that flow from IP-based illicit activities.”

    The plan establishes four goals to be achieved by 2020. They include improved collaboration and efficiency among federal agencies to leverage an all-of-government approach to IP enforcement; increased coordination among U.S. trading partners to effectively and collaboratively combat illicit trade, including through the establishment of IP law enforcement coordinators and attachés around the world; and strengthening of government-private sector collaboration and industry-led voluntary initiatives in the marketplace.

    The plan highlights the magnitude of global trade secret theft, citing a Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade study estimating the theft to be in the range of 1 to 3% of U.S. GDP. The plan also cites estimates of losses to the U.S. economy from the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property at tens to hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

    “This is a roadmap to ensuring American innovation and creativity continue to lead the world,” stated David Hirschmann, president & CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center, in a press release applauding the IPEC plan. “As the next administration looks to expand innovation-based jobs, it should use this plan as a guide. The innovative industries addressed in this proposal are crucial to our nation’s economic health; intellectual property generates 38 percent of our nation’s GDP, more than half of all exports and impacts more than 45 million jobs – nearly a third of the workforce.”


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