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World Intellectual Property Day & Beyond: How the U.S. Government, Private Sector, and Academia Support International Outreach on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Wayne Paugh, Acting U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement
Brad Huther, Senior Advisor, Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Timothy Trainer, Founder and President, Global Intellectual Property Strategy Center
Foreign Press Center Briefing
Washington, DC
April 23, 2008

11:00 A.M.

Listen to Audio 

L to R: Timothy Trainer, Founder and President, Global Intellectual Property Strategy Center; Mr. Brad Huther, Senior Advisor, Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Wayne Paugh, Acting U.S. Coordinator for International Property Enforcement at the Washington Foreign Press Center Briefing on World Intellectual Property Day & Beyond: How the U.S. Government, Private Sector, and Academia Support International Outreach on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)MODERATOR: Good morning and welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. Today we're delighted to have a very distinguished panel that will speak to us today about World Intellectual Property Day and Beyond.

I'd like to introduce our briefers Mr. Wayne Paugh, who is the Acting U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement; Mr. Brad Huther, the Senior Advisor for Global Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Mr. Timothy Trainer, who is the founder and President of Global Intellectual Property Strategy Center.

Each will make some brief opening statements and then we'll be happy to take your questions.

MR. PAUGH: Thank you. All right, to begin this morning about at least recognizing World IP Day. It's this Saturday, April the 26th, in recognition of IP in everyone's daily lives and looking at the protection and enforcement of intellectual property itself worldwide and to encourage respect for intellectual property rights worldwide. Those are the three main goals of World IP Day. And my role as Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordinator for the U.S. Government, I want to spend at least a few moments this morning looking at World IP Day from an enforcement perspective and then tying in protection and some of the training efforts in third countries.

The age old adage of "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" is -- holds up unless it's a crime. And that's certainly the case with counterfeiting and piracy. From the United States' perspective, intellectual property represents $5.5 trillion, which is almost half of our entire GDP. But beyond the economic concerns of intellectual property we have in the United States that goes beyond into a health, safety and security issues with counterfeit pharmaceuticals, medicines, brake pads, food products and other items that can, when counterfeited, become deadly.

As my boss likes to say, Secretary Gutierrez, intellectual property is what we do for a living in the United States, and that's become more and more true not just here but from a global perspective. From what I do in my role in the U.S. Government is to coordinate not only amongst the U.S. Government resources but amongst industry and groups worldwide and, of course, our training partners in bridging the gap and working on common issues.

The main strategy that my office uses is the -- there's a Presidential strategy targeting organized piracy. And within that overall strategy, we work to empower intellectual property rights owners to protect and enforce their IP. The main website that the U.S. Government has is www.stopfakes.gov. It's a one-stop shopping for access to all resources in the United States Government.

I'll mention briefly some of the seizures and the prosecutions that we've achieved in the last few years. On the seizures side here, we've seen an increase up to $200 million in counterfeit goods at our borders in the last year, which is a 27 percent increase. On the prosecution end, we've seen an increase of 130 percent on sentences for defendants that are greater than two years.

That being said, I want to go back to really what World IP Day is about in recognizing the creativity, the innovation and the value of intellectual property and talk more on our relationships with trading partners and not only attacking counterfeiting piracy but promoting the benefits of intellectual property.

In the area of our training partners, we work worldwide individually through bilateral efforts, but we also have group connections that are important to the United States in the security and prosperity partnership, which is a partnership among the North American countries, Canada, Mexico and the United States, to approach and pursue in the intellectual property area to pursue a fake-free North America.

Another strong partnership is with the European Union, the US-EU partnership. One of the areas that we had focused on since its inception has been public-private partnerships and also looking at promoting public awareness and the benefits of intellectual property in third countries. The next meeting of our partnership will be in Berlin next month, the middle of May.

Turning more to the training, which I think is more of the highlight of the session this morning. The training for the United States has increased greatly over the last several years. We've seen an increase in the number of dollars and the number of programs committed. Our United States Patent and Trademark Office has created in the last year and a half the Global Intellectual Property Academy, a separate unit of about 20,000 square feet for foreign officials to come in and receive training on intellectual property.

For overseas, however, the most important thing the United States has done is to set up the Intellectual Property Attaché Program. We currently have eight intellectual property attachés operating in the foreign commercial service in U.S. embassies across the globe. There are eight of them, three of them in China, two in Beijing, one in Guangzhou. We have a gentleman working in India, another in Egypt, another in Bangkok, another in Brazil and another one in Moscow. Part of their role is to raise public awareness for intellectual property in the respective markets and to support businesses that are operating in those markets.

For objectives going forward, I wanted to mention the importance of sustaining not only the interest in enforcing intellectual property once it's issued but also the strong interest in the protection of intellectual property when it's applied for. I think the important thing on the training side is, as you'll hear from the other panelists, is continued education and training and capacity building in all regions throughout the world.

Now those focuses might differ depending on the geographical region, whether you're training prosecutors, judges, the general public, investigators or dealing on a bilateral level at the highest levels of government. That has to be done in a more coordinated fashion internally in the U.S. Government and also coordinating with countries and our training partners overseas.

The important thing for us is maintaining a long-term global effort not only in the area of counterfeiting and piracy and having an organized response to an organized crime in many cases, but the most important thing for us is to promote intellectual property worldwide, its protection, its enforcement and its celebration, which I think is very appropriate concerning World IP Day coming up.

I'd be happy to answer any questions after the other panelist. Thank you.

MR. HUTHER: Good morning, everyone. I'm Brad Huther. I represent the Global Intellectual Property Center within the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The reason that we value the celebration of World IP Day is two-fold really. It's in addition to what Wayne has said. We do need to celebrate the creativity and the innovation skills of people from all segments of the planet, whether it be those who create new forms of technology in every discipline that you could think of to authors who generate new concepts of copyrighted works or creative marketing people within small businesses that are looking to establish brand identity of their products.

So we're celebrating not only those individuals but we're also celebrating the fact that intellectual property, all these different forms of unique kinds of creative works really is not just a one day out of the year event for businesses. And the Chamber represents more than 3 million businesses in the course of its work, the vast majority of which are small and medium sized enterprises.

We believe we have not only a responsibility to be actively involved every day of the week, every week and every month of the year looking at ways to strengthen the value of intellectual property to not only our creators and business organizations but creators and businesses everywhere in our global society.

So we have a number of objectives in mind. We want to ensure that people, particularly those that aren't respectful of intellectual property, understand what it means to have an innovative society in terms of generating jobs for their own citizens, in terms of strengthening the economic fiber of their countries, developing countries especially. And the only way that we believe we can do that is through a global effort to explain what the value of IP means not so much to the industrialized countries, that's part of it, but most importantly the value of it to those emerging economies that are going to become less dependent on manufacturing and agricultural activities and more increasingly dependent on the types of creative works, the knowledge based society that we've eluded to.

This is not a problem that is outside of the United States, it's just as much a U.S. based problem. And so we are working very hard, that is the Global IP Center, is working very hard to support the initiatives of the Bush Administration through the strategy targeting organized piracy, but we're also advocating in the United States Congress for what we believe are overdue reforms, everything from establishing new strategies for intellectual property rights to providing additional resources to the federal, state and municipal level governments that don't currently put the kinds of resources on the ground to deal with these issues.

Frankly, we also want to rally like-minded governments such as those that Wayne mentioned in the North American hemisphere, the European hemisphere, APEC or any other regional framework in which we can find other like-minded government that would wish to use the benefits of an industry to government partnership not only at the national level but we think more effectively at the regional level.

And then finally, we believe that our global IP Center working with others needs to hold all governments accountable for whether they achieve the objectives that are set forth in their national plans or through world treaties such as those administered by the World Trade Organization or the World Intellectual Property Organization.

So to wrap it up, we think that without a cost-cutting campaign seven days a week working with government, dealing with the regional issues, we are not going to find effective solutions to the compelling problems that are affecting societies everywhere.

In the United States, the loss of jobs is well above 750,000 jobs that have been transferred to other government societies where the respect for IP does not exist, and the value of economic aspects of IP are such that if those jobs are lost, if those tax revenues are not provided through legitimate sales, then all economies will be adversely effected by the rigorous efforts of counterfeiters and pirates globally.

So we provide training and technical assistance. I think I'll defer to Tim to give you some more insights about that. But I think without having a cost-cutting program working with like-minded government and like-minded business groups, our chances of creating the kind of respect for intellectual property globally will be difficult to achieve. But we believe that we are on the right path, and with the help of other governments and business groups we think we can achieve these goals. Thanks very much.

MR. TRAINER: Good morning, everyone. Good to be here and have a chance to speak to the issue of intellectual property a we head toward World Intellectual Property Day.

Intellectual property, it's the creating of works, artistic works, music, movies. It's developing a trademark or logo that a company or a person applies to ones goods or it could be just tinkering to find a new method or process that can be patented.

Well, who is intellectual property for? Frankly, it's for everyone. And most likely you can find it everywhere, whether it's something you're wearing, whether it's something you hold, whether it's something or many things in your living room, it's really something that surrounds us every day, all day long.

So intellectual property is really an integral part today of our daily lives, and I think that's one thing we tend to overlook. It's very much out there, maybe to the point that in some ways we've complicated something that's frankly at times pretty simple.

And what is it? Intellectual property to me, when we're talking about copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, it actually reflects ones aspirations, creating an asset that can be used in business to fuel growth of a business, an asset that's used to compete in the marketplace, an asset that generates revenues for individual creators or the business.

Intellectual property reflects hope in that by using these assets positive things will happen. One doesn't make an investment and take a risk in creating something unless they think something positive's going to happen. It just isn't something that's a common sense thing to do. We're not going to invest or take a risk in something we know will lose money if that's something we have to put our money into.

So it does reflect a person's individual hopes or a company's hope that they are going to succeed. Whether the innovator is one who comes up with the next best plastic cup lid or makes it possible to have affordable mass market hydrogen powered automobiles, this person needs to be able to rely on an economic and intellectual property system that provides an incentive to take that risk so that he or she can grow her investment in the intellectual property and in the enterprise that they own.

While we tend to maybe over emphasize the enforcement part at times, I think one thing we should go back to is to really go to the beginning. We've come to a time when we really have to talk about the economic potential that intellectual property represents, how it provides these possibilities to individuals and companies in various economies around the world. And we need to reach out and show, not just to tell, how much a powerful force it can be in a dynamic economy. And in that sense, I think we have to do a much better job when we talk about World IP Day of helping national governments, helping societies around the world to understand better what intellectual property is, how it can be used in a much more beneficial form.

We can talk for a lot of hours probably about the needs on enforcement and the training, a lot going on. But I also think that from the perspective of training and education on intellectual property in addition to our emphasis on the enforcement, the protection of in intellectual property, we probably would like to add some other components to the training and education of intellectual property issues so that we really get back to the beginning so that the general mass public understands what it is and how each person, if they choose to, can create their own intellectual property and make that intellectual property work for them whether it's in their own one-person business or whether it's a small company regardless of size.

And I think that that's one of those things we should probably continue to emphasize. I know that the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a lot of outreach programs are now being done for small, medium enterprises here in the United States and that is something that we need to do a better job of not just hear in the United States but around the world.

I'll stop there because I'm sure that you and others may have some questions. Thank you very much.

MODERATOR: Great. We will open it up for questions. I'd just like to remind you to wait for the microphone and please state your name and your organization. Any questions?

QUESTION: Yeah, Hi. My name is Olli Herrala, and I come from (inaudible) Finland, Finnish Business Daily. That question, those products that are the victims of these crimes are pretty well known. Can you mention any new products that are like counterfeited or victims of piracy? Thank you.

MR. PAUGH: I could mention one. There was a recent seizure just late last year, the 144,000 tubes of Colgate toothpaste up in the New Jersey area. Brad's head of -- Tom Donahue likes to say, if you can make it, they can fake it. And that's the opening line in the new illicit movie that was recently shown via National Geographic on PBS. So the cases are unlimited.

You're from Finland. I will mention a recent investigation and seizure conducted by the U.S. and European Union customs officials called Operation Infrastructure, and that was conducted in November and December of '07 and yielded three hundred-some odd thousand integrated circuits that were counterfeit. Now they might not be health related to a particular person, but when you're looking at sensitive system that those computer hardware and other units go into, it could result in disastrous effects.

It shows the collaboration between foreign entities in the EU and ourselves in working to pull off the counterfeit goods.

MR. HUTHER: I'll just add one general comment to what Wayne has just said, and that is that the counterfeiting of products is something that is happening every day and new things are being counterfeited literally as we're sitting in this room talking with you.

One of the best ways to observe how new products that are being counterfeited are appearing in the market is to go to a trade fare. You can be in Guangdong, China or you can be in a trade fair in Geneva or here in the United States, and what you will find is counterfeiters and pirates will have been looking for breakthrough products and technologies, some of which they can obtain solely by research of the public literature, of patents and trademarks and copyrighted works. Others they do through more traditional intelligence gathering techniques inside organizations, finding out what products are about ready to be released. So you can see in a trade fair the brand owner, the legitimate owner of the intellectual property announcing a new product and right around the corner you'll find very often counterfeiters that are marketing exactly what the legitimate intellectual property owner or company or individual entrepreneur is trying to market to the world's economy at the same time. So go to a trade fair, you'll see the latest things being counterfeited and being sold as though they were legitimate products when, in fact, they are some of the worst examples of theft of intellectual property you can find.

MR. TRAINER: I think I would add that when you think of new products, certainly in some of the poor countries around the world, there are agricultural chemical products, fertilizers, even agricultural tools that are being counterfeited in some of these countries. Well, they're coming into these countries.

So it's far beyond the usual handbags, footwear, sunglasses, but truly getting into things that maybe 10 or 15 years ago we just would never have seen. So I think there's development where fertilizer and other kinds of agricultural industry sector products are also being counterfeited. It really tells you about the expansion of counterfeiters into totally different kinds of products.

MR. PAUGH: Additional point on the health and safety aspect. If you look in the area of pharmaceuticals and medicines being counterfeited, in the past you've seen a lot of Viagra and Cialis and more on the recreational side. But what we have seen in the Customs Department - I mentioned this statistic earlier - we pulled in about $200 million worth of counterfeit goods, which is a 27 percent increase over last year. But what I failed to mention was that the number of counterfeit pharmaceuticals that U.S. Customs seized increased five times in value from 2006 to 2007. So it shows that this health and safety issue is becoming more and more prevalent in the area of counterfeiting and piracy. As Tim mentioned and Brad mentioned, you go well past handbags, footwear and others. Those things are still being counterfeited in great numbers, but the breadth of products that are being chosen for benefit of counterfeiting and raising money for those criminals is becoming more prevalent.

MODERATOR: Any other questions?

QUESTION: Sergio Dominquez at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This question is for Wayne. Why has the U.S. Government only decided to have eight IP attachés throughout the world? Why wouldn't they put another attaché in Paraguay or in Mexico? These are big markets. And especially in Paraguay where (inaudible) is the intermediary for these goods coming in from Asia, why wouldn't they put one in Paraguay or Mexico or, I don't know, in Canada for that matter?

MR. PAUGH: Thank you for that question. Actually, the intellectual property attaché program is officially termed as a pilot program. So these initial eight attachés are on the
-- I wouldn't say the experimental side, but it's certainly a pilot program. And they are finishing up on their -- a few of them are finishing up on their two to three year initial tours, and that is a consideration, as a matter of fact, to expand that program. We've received initial feedback from the respective geographic areas in which they're serving, very positive feedback that the attaché program has been a success.

That being said, though, there are significant costs that are involved in supporting and placing those attachés operating abroad. And so we have to assess at the end of the pilot program assess as a government expanding it. If we choose to expand it, where do we expand it? And then by how far do we expand it as far as the numbers?

So yes, that is a concern and a hopeful one, because we feel like the initial results have been extremely positive as far as the successes they've had especially one of the original attachés, a gentleman named Mark Cohen, who is operating out in our embassy in Beijing. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Any other questions? Well, we'd like to thank our panel for joining us today. And thank you.



Released on April 23, 2008

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