An interesting report was recently issued by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, which is a US-based commission comprised of private and public sector members. The purpose of the Commission is to assess the scale of international intellectual property theft and its affect on the US, in addition to evaluating China’s role in international intellectual property theft. Needless to say, this piqued the interest of CanadaFashionLaw and we wanted to provide a summary of the 89 page report.
The Commission states that intellectual property theft is at an unprecedented high (a loss of $300 billion a year), which generates a significant loss of revenue and undermines the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit for the US. Ultimately, this can slow technological and economic development. Conversely, countries that focus on manufacturing counterfeit products benefit from a pseudo-subsidy, given that the costs of developing or licensing intellectual property rights are avoided.
Studies indicate that China is responsible for 50% to 80% of global intellectual property theft. The Commission projects that the longer the supply chain, the greater the likelihood/opportunity that intellectual property theft will pervade. (Perhaps another push for the “Made In America” movement used to boost US domestic manufacturing to stimulate the economy?)
Ultimately, the Commission’s proposition is to flip the cost-benefit ratio for intellectual property theft. Currently the manufacture and distribution of infringing and counterfeit product is cheap, which is desirable for intellectual property evil-doers. Inverting the ratio, by strengthening legal procedures and raising financial consequences, is key to deterring intellectual property theft. In addition, the Commission advocates for the need to help foreign countries raise their IP consciousness as critically important.
If you’re interested in reading the full report, click here.