Administration Issues Plan for Growth through IP Enforcement

Posted by Nancy Anderson
Corporate Vice President and
Deputy General Counsel

This week the Obama Administration
released the nation’s first-ever Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property
Enforcement
. Joining Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Intellectual
Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel in announcing the plan
were Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet
Napolitano, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and Commerce Secretary
Gary Locke. The plan demonstrates the Administration’s strong commitment
to protecting intellectual property and promoting job creation and
growth. Microsoft is pleased to support it.

As the Joint
Strategic Plan recognizes, “Intellectual property supports jobs across
all industries, and in particular where there is a high degree of
creativity, research and innovation.” A prime example is the software
industry, which has been a remarkable engine for jobs and economic growth. According to
the Business
Software Alliance
, the software and related services sector
employed almost 2 million people in the United States in 2007, in jobs
that paid 195 percent of the average wage. The sector contributed more
than $261 billion to U.S. GDP in 2007, making it the largest of the U.S.
copyright industries, and its overseas earnings added a $37 billion
surplus to the U.S. balance of trade in 2009.

The
Administration plan charts action-oriented goals aimed at preserving
these contributions. Key pillars of the plan include commitments to:

· Lead by example to ensure that the federal government does not
purchase or use IP-infringing products;

· Support transparency
in the development of enforcement policy, information sharing and
reporting of law enforcement activities;

· Enhance coordination
to increase efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement efforts at
the federal, state and local levels and to maximize the effectiveness of
the U.S. government’s international training efforts;

· Work
with trading partners and international organizations to better enforce
American intellectual property rights in the global economy; and

·
Secure supply chains to stem the flow of IP-infringing products through
law enforcement efforts and enhanced cooperation with the private
sector. (In connection with this last point, we were pleased to see the
plan recognize Microsoft’s role in voluntary industry efforts to help
prevent the sale of sponsored search-engine advertising for unlawful
businesses selling counterfeit medications online.)

By
leveraging the expertise of agencies across government and promoting
cooperation and coordination of resources and programs, the Joint
Strategic Plan promises to deliver on the goals Congress identified in
enacting the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual
Property (PRO-IP) Act in 2008.

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Microsoft News Center Staff