Q. According to President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal, the Department of Justice plans to spend more next year investigating and enforcing intellectual property crimes. What’s behind this move?
by Scott Dangler on February 21, 2012A.
The government’s recent emphasis on greater intellectual property (IP) protection actually started during the latter part of the Bush administration and came to fruition with the appointment of Ms. Espinel as the country’s IP czar by the current administration. The issue of IP protection has significant bipartisan support, as evidenced by the near-unanimous approval of the PRO-IP Act in 2008.
Some believe the reason behind the recent emphasis on IP protection is largely political. The most vocal proponents of greater IP enforcement tend to be the recording industry (RIAA), the motion picture industry (MPAA) and pharmaceutical companies. Each industry has significant clout and, more importantly, dollars that may be needed during an election year.
Others believe the new emphasis is a result of the current economic climate, in which it makes sense for the administration to address any perceived threats to American economic interests, especially to industries as significant as the RIAA and MPAA.
Moreover, from a global trade perspective, a strong stance on IP protection is necessary. The U.S. has repeatedly stressed the need for China to better enforce international IP rights. This argument is weakened if the U.S. is not periodically noticed in the media for its own enforcement efforts.
This post is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this information.