Today in Tokyo the United States signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the NAM applauds this decision.
This milestone achievement in IPR protection will enhance criminal enforcement and the seizure and destruction of fake goods, provide new authority for customs to act against import and exports of fake goods and cooperate on transshipment, create new cooperation and information sharing among ACTA signatories and the private sector, and promote best practices that result in better IPR protection.
IPR protection and enforcement is an issue for virtually all manufacturers. Manufacturing is as dependent on intellectual property like patents, trademarks, trade secrets, trade dress and copyright as copy-based industries that receive somewhat more attention. Counterfeiting and piracy are existential threats to manufacturers, the people they employ, and the consumers who come in contact with their products and services.
Theft is theft no matter if it is called “counterfeit” or “piracy”. The trade in fake products supplants legitimate markets, steals our workers’ jobs and puts American and other consumers needlessly at risk as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, unsafe products and even hazardous materials are put into the stream of commerce on a daily basis.
IPR theft is an impediment to economic recovery. Markets once lost through counterfeiting and/or damaged brands are not readily and easily recovered. As cities and states face unprecedented budget shortfalls and deficits, it is important to note that IPR thieves don’t generally pay taxes and maintain books. (continue reading…)