Getting Tough on IP Theft: Bipartisan Commission Weighs In

The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property recently released an 89-page report examining the causes and impact of intellectual property (IP) theft on U.S. strategic and economic interests.

It calculates that the total revenue loss to U.S. companies is comparable to the total value of U.S. exports to all of Asia.

The commission lists China as a top concern, estimating that the country accounts for 50 to 80 percent of all U.S. intellectual property theft. As detailed in the report, “National industrial policy goals in China encourage IP theft, and an extraordinary number of Chinese in business and government entities are engaged in this practice.”

The committee’s leaders include Dennis Blair, the former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, and John M. Huntsman, Jr., the former Ambassador to China and governor of Utah. As they detailed in a recent opinion piece to the Washington Post, the report’s recommendations include “practical measures, both carrots and sticks, to change the cost-benefit calculus for foreign companies and their governments that illegally acquire U.S. intellectual property.”

Among the recommendations:
•    Designate the national security advisor as the principal policy coordinator for all actions on the protection of American IP
•    Strengthen the International Trade Commission’s 337 process to sequester goods containing stolen IP
•    Empower the secretary of the treasury, on the recommendation of the secretary of commerce, to deny the use of the American banking system to foreign companies that repeatedly use or benefit from the theft of American IP
•    Require the Securities and Exchange Commission to judge whether companies’ use of stolen IP is a material condition that ought to be publicly reported
•    Amend the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) to provide a federal private right of action for trade- secret theft
While it is unclear how many recommendations will actually be implemented, the report highlights the scope of the IP theft problem facing the country as well as the need for wide-scale solutions.

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– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +