Archive for August, 2011

US-China Mutual Interest in IPR

posted by in Intellectual Property August 23, 2011

China’s lax protection of intellectual property rights cost IP-intensive companies in the United States nearly $50 billion in 2009, according to the International Trade Commission, and it may have cost the broader US economy more than twice that amount. But it often goes unmentioned that the pain actually goes both ways — hampering prospects for innovative enterprise in China, too.

This is why it was notable that Vice President Joe Biden emphasized the US and China’s mutual interest in protecting IP rights in a speech at Sichuan University during his recently concluded diplomatic trip. Lest it be overlooked, here is an excerpt:

But it’s also why we are troubled when American investors are prohibited from having wholly owned, fully owned subsidiaries of their own company in many sectors in China and excluded from sectors, entirely excluded from competing in other sectors; restrictions that no other major economy in the world imposes on us or anyone else so broadly. That’s why we have pushed Chinese officials to protect intellectual property rights. We have welcomed the Chinese State Council’s recent campaign to enforce intellectual property rights, a commitment that President Hu made when he visited and he’s keeping. But the effort must be strengthened and extended.

According to the International Trade Commission, American companies lose $48 billion a year and tens of thousands of jobs because of pirated goods and services. These protections — intellectual property protections not only benefit the United States and United States workers, United States companies, but I would argue Chinese companies, as well, as they increasingly seek to safeguard their own creations.

You’re here at this great university. It’s very much in your interest that intellectual property be protected because some of you are the future artists, the future entertainers, the future innovators who will want to be able to have a market for what you do. But if it can be acquired cheaply and pirated, why would anybody pay you for the same service?

The Vice President’s full speech is available on the White House website.

Closing the Financial Spigot for Fake Software Peddlers

posted by in Compliance and Enforcement August 18, 2011

“Follow the money,” the mysterious Deep Throat famously urges Bob Woodward in All the President’s Men. “Always follow the money.”

It is sage advice that investigative journalists and law enforcement authorities have been following for generations to ferret out criminal activity. And by the same token, cutting off the flow of money to a criminal enterprise is a tried and true way of shutting it down. Indeed, law enforcement authorities this summer have ably demonstrated how closing the financial spigot can be an especially effective tactic in combating online software piracy.

As security blogger Brian Krebs has detailed, authorities have at least temporarily disrupted the highly profitable fake antivirus racket by tying up its finances so that (more…)

Mexico’s Impressive IP Leadership

mexicoIn the global race to curb intellectual property theft and capture the myriad economic benefits that come from boosting legal software sales, Mexico is setting an impressive pace by leveraging a noteworthy combination of resources from government agencies and private industry.

The country’s lead copyright authority, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (known by its Spanish acronym, IMPI), has taken a forceful leadership role in driving software legalization. It began by getting its own house in order — conducting a self-audit and publically disclosing the results — and now it is reaching out directly to corporate end-users, educating them about licensing requirements, the benefits of using legal software, and, critically, the security and (more…)

Senate Bill Shines a Light on Global Cybercrime

posted by in Cybersecurity August 5, 2011

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) this week made an important contribution to the unfolding cybersecurity debate in Congress when they introduced an updated version of their International Cybercrime Reporting and Cooperation Act (S. 1469), which aims to foster more effective coordination between the United States and foreign countries. As has been reported by Politico (subscription required) and The Hill, the bill adds to a growing mix of cybersecurity proposals in front of lawmakers, with negotiations expected to pick up even more steam this fall.

Similar to the Special 301 process that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative uses to spur America’s trading partners to improve intellectual property protections, the Gillibrand-Hatch bill would hold countries accountable (more…)