The Senate Judiciary yesterday reported out two bills with implications for manufacturers and the economy at large, one good, one bad.

The good one is S. 3325, the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act. The bill creates an IP enforcement office within the Administration to develop a single joint strategy to fight counterfeiting and piracy. The bill also would allow Justice to bring civil actions to enforce copyright laws on behalf of private parties, of special interest to small and medium-sized manufacturers lacking the resources to pursue domestic and international counterfeiters.  

As our director of technology policy, Marc-Antony Signorino said:

NAM member companies understand and realize the damage that counterfeit and pirated products can impose on their businesses, their customers and our overall economic security. IP theft costs U.S. businesses $250 billion in lost revenue each year and has already cost the United States an estimated 750,000 jobs. In terms of health and safety, pirated products are vastly inferior to legitimate goods.  Commonly counterfeited items such automobile parts, airplane parts, food, medical devices, electrical supplies, and pharmaceuticals are making their way to consumers.

More from CNET News.  

The NAM’s full statement is in the extended entry below.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 11, 2008 – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Director of Technology Policy Marc-Anthony Signorino today released the following statement in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s passage of the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (S. 2235):

The NAM commends Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Specter, as well as Senators Bayh, Voinovich, Feinstein, Cornyn, Cardin and Whitehouse, for their leadership in advancing important legislation that will provide the federal government with the necessary tools to fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

NAM member companies understand and realize the damage that counterfeit and pirated products can impose on their businesses, their customers and our overall economic security. IP theft costs U.S. businesses $250 billion in lost revenue each year and has already cost the United States an estimated 750,000 jobs. In terms of health and safety, pirated products are vastly inferior to legitimate goods. Commonly counterfeited items such automobile parts, airplane parts, food, medical devices, electrical supplies, and pharmaceuticals are making their way to consumers.

This pro-IP bill would create an IP enforcement “czar” within the Administration to work with agencies to develop a single joint strategy to fight counterfeiting and piracy.

Another key element of the bill would allow the Justice Department to bring civil actions to enforce copyright laws on behalf of private parties. Many small and medium manufacturers do not have the resources to go after domestic and international counterfeiters. This critical provision would allow the U.S. government to protect its national interests in cases where there is economic, as well as criminal, harm.

NAM members believe that this legislation would go a long way to protect our nation’s IP and ensure the safety and economic security of U.S. manufacturers and consumers. We are looking forward to full Senate consideration of S. 3325.

  

 

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