Manufacturers make significant investments in information technology to increase their competitive edge both here and abroad. Software specifically helps drive efficiency in product design, communication, manufacturing processes, customer safety, enterprise efficiency, and even environmental impact. Now more than ever the IT leveraged by manufacturers provides an increasing competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Unfortunately, not everyone is playing by the rules. Many companies – usually from outside the U.S. – are illegally utilizing pirated software inside their enterprise. This practice provides for an unfair advantage over manufacturers that follow the law. It can lead to job loss, a drain on innovation, and a direct negative impact on the bottom line.
A bipartisan group of sixteen Senators recently sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) calling for action on this practice that hurts manufacturers. The Senators cited a recent request submitted to the FTC by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) asking for the Commission to address this unfair competition.
Last year when the NAM released our “Four Goals for Economic Growth” it gave policymakers the blueprint for ensuring the U.S. remains the best place in the world for manufacturers. In it, we urge them to recognize intellectual property (IP) as the basis of America’s innovative economy. The NAM knows that IP is a critical aspect of our manufacturing economy. The NAAG says in their letter that “The importance of the manufacturing sector to the U.S economy cannot be overstated.” We’re glad to see more leaders recognize that if you aren’t doing what is right for manufacturers and their IP, you aren’t doing what’s right for the economy.