The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

IP Summit 2013 Highlights Protecting Intellectual Property

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact

On Friday, November 8, 2013, I had the opportunity to attend IP Summit 2013, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center.  This daylong conference highlighted the importance of protecting intellectual property (IP) from counterfeiting, theft, and black market merchandising.

When talking about the protection of IP, few understand the full breadth of the problem, and how it affects every single industry across the spectrum.  There is a general feeling among many consumers that if they can buy a product or service for less than it normally retails, then who does it really hurt.  Unfortunately, it is this perception that perpetuates the continual assault on IP, and leads not only to losses in revenue for the creators of intellectual property, but also frequently can result in harming consumers.

According to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue, IP constitutes more than 35 percent of U.S. GDP, and 60 percent of U.S. exports, making it an important component to the U.S. economy.  IP includes everything from pharmaceuticals to software, and includes the clothes we wear, the food we eat and the goods and services we enjoy every day.

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, heads up enforcement efforts to combat IP theft.  During the summit, officials from the Center were on hand exhibiting counterfeit goods that were seized during raids.  These products included prescription drugs, designer label boots and handbags, electrical power cords, electronic components, and even toothpaste.

A variety of speakers were at the summit, representing a wide swath of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotech, information technology, electronics, music, video and fashion.  Each provided valuable insight into the challenges and high costs they face in protecting their IP.  Panelists also provided a look at what is happening in Congress to protect IP, as well as globally.

In September 2013, I authored a Wastewatcher article highlighting the difficulty in combating IP infringement around the globe, particularly in nations such as India.  The IP Summit 2013 provided a wealth of information on the challenges facing creators and innovators across several industries.  The entire IP Summit is available for viewing at

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