The office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), Victoria Espinel, has released the 2013 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, a federal initiative aiming to protect intellectual property (IP) and stimulate the U.S. economy. Earlier this year, the White House released its Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets to increase knowledge of best practices and ensure that all economic actors recognize the detrimental effects of trade secret theft on individual businesses and global trade.
The 2013 Joint Strategic Plan emphasizes the Administration’s dedication to a
“[p]redictable and effective enforcement of intellectual property rights” to maintain global competitiveness, sustain jobs, and promote the health and safety of consumers. The first such Plan was issued in 2010 and since then many private sector companies have agreed voluntarily to adopt best practices for reducing illegally reproduced products, whether online or in the supply chain. The 2011 White Paper on Intellectual Property Enforcement Legislative Recommendations put forth proposals for Congressional enactment on increasing IP enforcement, and seven of the twenty recommendations are now law.
This Plan highlights the need for industry to collaborate on best practices to reduce online piracy and counterfeits and combat trade secret theft and other IP theft in the global supply chain. Additionally, in the ‘Activities to Date’ section addressing Supply Chain Integrity efforts by the Department of State (DOS), the plan mentions CREATe.org:
DOS began working with the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade (CREATe.org)—a private sector organization focused on supply chain integrity and related issues, including intellectual property protection—to promote policies among suppliers and business networks in global supply chains that ensure respect for intellectual property, put in place strong anti-corruption measures, and insist on transparency and accurate record-keeping. In May 2012 DOS and CREATe co-hosted a public-private sector event to increase awareness of the role of IP protection in supply chain integrity.
The document also lists more than 25 action items, which build on the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan, to outline IPEC’s three-year approach for IP protection. These items include:
- Securing the U.S. Government Supply Chain Against Counterfeits, to lead by example;
- Coordinating international capacity-building and training, to ensure efficiency and coordination;
- Strengthening IP enforcement through international organizations, to enforce the rights of U.S. companies abroad;
- Supporting U.S. small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in Foreign Markets; and
- Assessing the economic impact of IP-intensive industries.