Report Recommends The US Should Take Strong Action Against IP Theft
May 24, 2013

Strong Action Needed Says IP Theft Commission

Peter Suciu for — Your Universe Online

The United States government should bar companies that repeatedly steal or use stolen IP from selling their wares in the country, according to recommendations in a new report (PDF) released on Wednesday. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, which is made up of a group of former government officials and business representatives, called on the government to take a series of measures to protect intellectual property.

The study reported that China was thought be behind 50 to 80 percent of IP theft. Russia and India were also noted as nations believed to be guilty of the theft. The report said that this IP theft costs American jobs and even suppresses innovation.

“The scale of international theft of American intellectual property (IP) is unprecedented - hundreds of billions of dollars per year, on the order of the size of US exports to Asia," the report noted.

The commission called for the Treasury Department to be empowered to deny access to the American banking system to companies from China and other countries that benefit from this stolen IP; and that sanctions should be considered against those who benefit from the theft.

“New laws might be considered for corporations and individuals to protect themselves in an environment where law enforcement is very limited,” said the report.

The commission called on agencies that consider whether foreign companies could be able to invest in the United States or trade on American stock exchanges should have their respective IP theft records reviewed. In addition, the commission called on government policymakers to make it easier for the United States International Trade Commission to block counterfeit goods from entering the country. The group called on Congress to increase funding for law enforcement agencies that investigate IP theft, while also amending the Economic Espionage Act to allow private companies to file lawsuits for trade-secret theft.

It was also recommended by the commission to provide more green cards, or permanent resident cards, to foreign workers trained in key fields including science and technology and who want to move to the United States.

The report comes ahead of talks between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to be held next month in California. The June 7-8 talks will be the first meeting since Xi took office earlier this year.

It has been speculated that cyber issues are expected to be high on the agenda amidst growing U.S. accusations that China may have supported — and even waged — a secret campaign of online espionage against American companies and the government.

As reported by Bloomberg, Hong Lei, from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters on May 21 that the U.S. has no hard evidence China is behind recent cyber-attacks.

However, the commission — in noting the importance of the priorities in U.S.-Chinese relations — expects this issue to be raised during the upcoming summit.

The non-partisan private commission was co-chaired by Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah and U.S. ambassador to China, and Admiral Dennis Blair (Retired), former director of National Intelligence and commander of the United States Pacific Command. Other commission members included Dr. Craig Barrett, former chairman and CEO of Intel; former Senator Slade Gorton of Washington; William Lynn, CEO of DRS Technologies and former U.S. deputy secretary of defense; Deborah Wince-Smith, president and COE of the Council of Competitiveness; and Michael Young, president of the University of Washington and former deputy under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs.