Intellectual Property Statement Released by White House

Intellectual Property Statement Released by White House

On February 20, 2013, the White House released The Administration’s Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets. These policies have been announced as part of the President’s response to threats to the economy, as the administration recognizes that theft of U.S. trade secrets poses a very real danger to American jobs in the global market. The strategy outlines a very clear approach to halt the theft of trade secrets by foreign competitors or governments.

The Strategy outlines five basic tenets to address the threat to trade secrets. First, the administration plans to increase diplomatic engagements, particularly communications with countries who display a high rate of intellectual property theft. Coalitions with other countries who share the same concerns will be built, and foreign law enforcement will be encouraged into greater involvement. The administration plans to use existing trade policy tools to encourage better protection and involvement from other countries.

The administration also plans to encourage and support internal industry efforts to develop protective practices which benefit all domestic companies. The Department of Justice will continue to prioritize investigation of trade secret theft by foreign companies and governments, and will maintain their efforts to prosecute these crimes. When specific information and technologies are targeted for theft, the FBI and other intelligence agencies will offer warnings and threat assessments to the private sector.

President Obama recently signed into law two pieces of legislation which provide enforcement against trade secret theft. However, laws must keep up with the times, so the administration will conduct regular reviews to be sure these laws remain relevant and effective, and will work with Congress to pass additional measures when they are determined to be necessary.

Finally, it is recognized that awareness of trade secret theft is a key component to protection of American businesses. The administration plans to work toward greater public awareness of the threats and risks posed to the American economy.

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