This afternoon, Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank participated in an event at the White House to announce the Administration’s progress in cracking down on intellectual property (IP) theft crimes and the launch of a public education campaign intended to increase Americans’ knowledge of the threat these crimes pose to economic prosperity and public safety. The campaign is entitled “Counterfeits Hurt. You Have The Power to Stop Them.”
Counterfeit goods not only can cause harm to the safety of our families, but they also cause harm to our economy and to American businesses. That’s because the success of the U.S. economy relies heavily on intellectual property; virtually every industry either produces IP or uses it. IP theft costs domestic industries an estimated $200 to $250 billion a year. This robs American workers of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Only when American ideas and American inventions are protected, so that innovators receive the rewards from their creativity, can American business prosper and the American economy continues to grow. It’s also important to remember protecting intellectual property has a multiplier effect, helping create jobs not only within the original firm that owns the IP but also within all the firms that it buys from and sells to.
For instance, it’s not just about protecting copyrights held by the writers and publishers; it’s also about the internet company that sells legitimate copyrighted books. It’s not just about the new applications patented by a software company, it’s also about the computer manufacturer that uses inputs made by semiconductor firms to make the hardware that is needed to run applications made by a software company.
All of this is about generating and preserving jobs in American business.
In the coming weeks, the Economics Statistics Administration and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will be releasing a new report – the first of its kind – that identifies the industries and business that rely heavily on IP to be successful, and that benefit the most from patents, trademarks, or copyrights. The report will show that these industries support tens of millions of jobs and contribute several trillion dollars to our gross domestic product. (And…because it’s a government report and in the public domain, it will NOT be copyrighted, so you can all use it in any way you want.)