US Lawmakers Seek To Fuel International IP Enforcement Activities (IP-Watch)

Lawmakers in the United States concerned that global counterfeiting and piracy are hurting American business on Wednesday introduced two bills aimed at curbing the practices, and said they want more international cooperation to do so. Senators Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, and George Voinovich, a Republican from Ohio, introduced the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Act, which would establish an Intellectual Property Enforcement Network (IPEN) to replace what they say is the ‘looser’ interagency approach now handling US IP enforcement efforts, and would make sure the US Congress is involved in ensuring sufficient resources flow to efforts to combat IP theft. The legislation also calls for the United States to establish an international task force made up of countries with good track records of preventing IP infringement to track, identify and stop it. Bayh’s office told Intellectual Property Watch those could be European countries, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and others. The bill also would encourage the US president to make cooperation with the global task force a priority among US trading partners. The United States, European Union and other key trading partners last month announced their intention to negotiate an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to encourage other countries to meet higher intellectual property rights enforcement standards. Although ACTA includes many of the standards Bayh has been advocating, the Bayh said he is still worried it will not be strong enough….

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