Resolution in Support of Intellectual Property Rights Protection
This resolution recognizes the importance of protecting Intellectual Property (IP) both domestically and beyond our borders. Intellectual property theft has a significant impact on economies around the world, and the sale of counterfeit products poses a danger to consumer health and safety in addition to undermining national and state economies. This resolution will affirm the US government’s efforts to improve transparency in IP in international trade negotiations and calls on the Departments of State and Justice to further emphasize the protection of IP rights through overseas personnel. Additionally, this resolution encourages the Office of the US Trade Representative to ensure that trade agreements into which the US enters have strong IP protection provisions.
WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recognizes the importance of protecting intellectual property (IP) both domestically and beyond our border; and
WHEREAS, the United States and all countries share the challenge of combating counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property, including illicit trade in many goods, including counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs, cutting edge technologies, film, music, books, journals, apparel and inventions that affect the quality of life; and
WHEREAS, counterfeiting and piracy have a significant impact on economies around the world, which translate into lost jobs, lost earnings, and lost tax revenues, and threaten public health and safety; and
WHEREAS, the sale of counterfeit products– such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, medical devices, auto and electrical parts, and many others – not only poses a real danger to consumer health and safety but also undermines sectors of our national and state economies that have historically provided secure, well-paying jobs; and
WHEREAS, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) are crucial to the future of the innovation-based economy; and
WHEREAS, U.S. intellectual property-intensive industries generate nearly $7.7trillion in gross output and account for more than 60% of total U.S. exports; and
WHEREAS, IP-based industries, such as pharmaceuticals, employ more than 19 million Americans whose salaries averaged about 60 percent higher than jobs in similar levels in non-IP-based industries; and
WHEREAS, intellectual property infringement can undermine our national and economic security; and
WHEREAS, violations of intellectual property rights, ambiguities in the law and lack of enforcement create uncertainty in the marketplace and legal system and undermine consumer trust; and
WHEREAS, intellectual property, including trademarks, are essential to a company’s ability to compete and thrive in the global economy; and
WHEREAS, IPR protection provides predictability and certainty for consumers and producers; and
WHEREAS, failure to adequately protect and enforce intellectual property rights will increase counterfeit and illicit trade; and
WHEREAS, IPR protection, including the protection of trademarks, is codified in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property; and
WHEREAS, the United States along with all other members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), are parties to the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement, which has codified the importance of protecting IPR, including trademarks; and
WHEREAS, the United States along with all other members of the WTO, are parties to the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement which requires that technical regulations, including packaging and labeling requirements, should avoid unnecessary obstacles to trade; and
WHEREAS, a number of countries have bilateral trade agreements with the United States which have provisions protecting IPR, including trademarks;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the state of [INSERT STATE] supports U.S. government efforts to improve transparency in intellectual property policy making and during international trade negotiations; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the state of [INSERT STATE] calls on the Departments of State and Justice to emphasize protection of intellectual property rights among its embassy and law enforcement personnel overseas providing guidance to and enabling them to serve as effective advocates and enforcers of intellectual property rights; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the state of [INSERT STATE] encourages the Administration to work with Congress to enact legislation that expands the IP attaché to additional countries abroad, as needed; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the state of [INSERT STATE] calls on the Office of the United States Trade Representative to ensure that trade agreements into which the United States enters will protect IPR; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, to the U.S. Secretary of State, to the U.S. Attorney General, to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, to the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, to the U.S. Trade Director of the FBI, and to the Director of The United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on October 16, 2012.