The White House today released its 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, a multi-agency attempt to enhance intellectual property protection in the United States.
The Report is the result of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act), which directed Obama’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (Victoria Espine) to coordinate the development of a plan to combat counterfeiting and infringement. Espine’s office received contributions from several federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, and State, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Copyright Office, and solicited more than 1,600 public comments.
The Report identifies several specific actions the Federal government will take to enhance IP protection in the United States, including:
- Leading by Example . Establishment of a U.S. Government-wide working group to prevent U.S. government purchase of counterfeit products, and use of legal software by federal contractors.
- Increasing Transparency . Improved transparency in intellectual property policy-making and international negotiations, increased information sharing with rightsholders, communication with victims/rightsholders, reporting on best practices of trading partners, identifying foreign pirate websites, tracking and reporting of enforcement activities, sharing of exclusion order enforcement data, and enhanced communications to strengthen Section 337 enforcement.
- Ensuring Efficiency and Coordination . Coordination of national law enforcement efforts to avoid duplication and waste, coordination of federal, state and local law enforcement, coordination of training for state and local law enforcement and prosecutors, improve the effectiveness of personnel stationed overseas to combat intellectual property infringement, coordination of international capacity building and training, and establishment of a counterfeit pharmaceutical interagency committee.
- Enforcing Rights Internationally . Combat foreign-based and foreign-controlled websites that infringe American intellectual property rights, enhance foreign law enforcement cooperation, promote enforcement of U.S. intellectual property rights through trade policy tools, special 301 “Action Plans”, and strengthen intellectual property enforcement through international organizations.
- Security America’s Supply Chain . FDA notification requirement for counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other medical products, mandated use of electronic track and trace for pharmaceuticals and medical products, increased enforcement efforts to guard against the proliferation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and medical devices, penalty relief for voluntary disclosure penalize exporters of infringing goods, streamline bonding requirements for circumvention devices, facilitating cooperation to reduce intellectual property infringement occurring over the internet, and establish and implement voluntary protocols to help reduce illegal internet pharmacies.
- Building a Data-Driven Government . U.S. Government resources spent on intellectual property enforcement, assessing the economic impact of intellectual property-intensive industries, comprehensive review of existing intellectual property laws to determine needed legislative changes, and supporting U.S. business in overseas markets.
A Department of Homeland Security press release summarized the full plan as it applies to the involved federal agencies, which:
calls for improved communication between law enforcement and rights holders, industry, and international partners and the general public; enhanced international and domestic IPR cooperation; close collaboration with the importing community to find effective, cooperative solutions; dedicating resources to building and improving data collection for enforcement of IPR laws; a secure supply chain and improved data collection—and will utilize the IPR resources currently employed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. Secret Service.
The ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) brings together key federal agencies including ICE, CBP, the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the General Service Administration Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the Government of Mexico Tax & Revenue Service, and works closely with the Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section to combat IPR violations that endanger the public health and safety, threaten our economic stability, and impact the competitiveness of U.S. industry.
The Report is the first coordinated effort of this magnitude by the United States to enforce American intellectual property rights at home and abroad.