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Intellectual Property: Enhancements to Coordinating U.S. Enforcement Efforts: Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives
Loren Yager (au)
Statement of Loren Yager, Dir., International Affairs and Trade, GAO. Intellectual property (IP) is an important component of the U.S. economy. U.S. government efforts to protect and enforce IP rights domestically and overseas are crucial to safeguarding innovation and preventing significant losses to U.S. industry and IP rights owners as well as addressing health and safety risks resulting from the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods. The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (PRO-IP Act) created a new interagency IP enforcement advisory comm. and authorized the President to appoint an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) position within the Executive Office of the President to chair the new comm. On Dec. 3, 2009, the Senate confirmed Victoria Espinel as the first IPEC. This testimony addresses two topics on IP protection and enforcement in anticipation of some of the challenges ahead in implementing the PRO-IP Act: (1) lessons learned from past efforts to coordinate IP protection and enforcement and (2) observations on a recent initiative to place IP attaches overseas to promote and protect IP rights, based on GAO’s field work at four posts in three case study countries. These remarks are based on a variety of assignments that GAO has conducted over the past 3 years on the international and domestic efforts undertaken by U.S. agencies to coordinate their efforts to address IP theft and piracy issues. Most recently, GAO conducted field work in March 2009 at four posts in three countries: Beijing and Guangzhou, China; New Delhi, India; and Bangkok, Thailand.
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