The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

World Intellectual Property Day Is April 26

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


World Intellectual Property Day is April 26, 2014.  Set aside by the international community in 2000, as a day to increase and promote a general understanding of intellectual property (IP), this event is recognized worldwide at numerous events.  Among those events this year was the 2014 IP Champions Conference, held on April 23, 2014 by the Global Intellectual Property Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  This event honored the efforts being made by innovators, creators and those combating the theft, counterfeiting, and piracy of IP.

The conference highlighted innovators from universities and the private sector whose ideas and inventions have the potential to change lives, including efforts to solve the problem of electronics overheating as well as helping autistic children to communicate better.  The protection of these ideas and innovations is important.  As suggested by the conference’s keynote speaker, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), IP protection is so important, it has been enshrined in the Constitution.  Article 1, Section 8 provides protections for IP, while personal property is covered in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.  Rep. Collins further noted that IP is the engine that drives our country.

During the conference, speakers from the pharmaceutical, electronics, and music industries, and the National Football League, as well as law enforcement detailed the type of IP theft they encountered, and efforts they were making to protect ideas, products and innovations from counterfeiting, copying and piracy.  The common thread noted during the conference in protecting IP is the need for increased consumer awareness of the harms not only to innovators, but also to the consumers themselves when they purchase either knowingly or unwittingly a product that is either counterfeited or pirated.  Several efforts are being undertaken by innovators and law enforcement to educate consumers on the potential harm from purchasing counterfeit or unlicensed products and services, as well as showcasing how the proceeds from the sale of these goods may be used to fund other criminal activities.

In an effort to help consumers learn more about protecting themselves from purchasing fake or counterfeit goods, the federal government has created a website to help consumers learn about the top 10 ways to protect themselves from counterfeiting and piracy, located at STOPfakes.gov.  The full video of the GIPC 2014 IP Champions Conference can be watched at http://www.theglobalipcenter.com/IPchampions/.

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