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Sens. Voinovich and Bayh Comment on White House Intellectual Property Report

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) today issued the following release on the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement, issued by the Obama Administration.

"I am happy that the administration has released the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on IP and hope it provides the next steps to develop a comprehensive strategy to protect American ingenuity," Sen. Voinovich said. "We asked for the strategic plan because we feel it is vital that President Obama take aggressive action to protect the intellectual property of American entrepreneurs and manufacturers in order to secure American jobs and innovation. The legislation that mandated this plan was a culmination of years of work and the first tangible result of moving IP enforcement forward."

"In the global economy, innovation is one of America's greatest strengths," Sen. Bayh said. "Unfortunately, intellectual property theft exploits American ingenuity and costs American businesses $250 billion and thousands of jobs each year. I crafted legislation in 2005 to unite the disparate agencies responsible for protecting American intellectual property, and the Joint Strategic Plan unveiled yesterday is a good first step toward achieving that goal."

Sens. Voinovich and Bayh have worked hard to protect American innovation for years. The senators introduced legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses designed to address intellectual property rights enforcement issues and protect American innovation and advancement. The legislation was combined with the Intellectual Property Rights (PRO-IP) Act that was introduced July 2008 by Sens. Voinovich and Bayh along with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Penn.). The bill was signed into law October 2008 by President George W. Bush.

Dr. Mark Esper from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global IP Center said, "The nation's first-ever National Intellectual Property Enforcement Strategy promises to create jobs, protect consumers and promote America's competitiveness by safeguarding our IP. This plan didn't just happen. It is the culmination of years of hard work and leadership by so many -- including Senator Voinovich and Senator Bayh -- that led to passage of the bipartisan PRO-IP Act in 2008. This law, among numerous other things, mandated that such a government-wide strategy be developed and established America's first IP Enforcement Coordinator to develop such a plan. This is certainly an important milestone in U.S. history that could not have been reached without the senators' tireless efforts."

Last year the senators sent a letter to President Obama highlighting the importance of safeguarding IP rights for clean technology as the United States took part in the United Nations negotiations in Copenhagen. The letter asked for the president's support for IP rights in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and urged further support from American negotiators as the process continues. There are international efforts to weaken IP protections, which the senators strongly oppose.

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