Original Press Release
NAM Applauds Legislation to Fight Counterfeiting, Piracy
Press release date: September 26, 2008
Senate Vote Advances Bill to Protect Businesses, Consumers
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 26, 2008 - National Association of Manufacturers President Gov. John Engler today released the following statement in response to Senate passage of the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008" (S. 3325):
The NAM commends the Senate for timely passage of legislation to prevent the rampant theft of some of America's greatest assets - our creativity and innovation. The "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008" will keep dangerous pharmaceutical, automobile parts and other counterfeit products off our store shelves, saving lives and helping protect thousands of skilled manufacturing jobs.
The NAM has been a strong supporter of this bill from the beginning. Our members brought the problem to us and, working with other members of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, we formed a plan to address this international problem. We thank lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Committee Member Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for their strong and unwavering support of this bill.
Each year intellectual property theft costs U.S. businesses $250 billion in lost revenue. This crime affects both businesses and consumers. Intellectual property theft has already cost the United States an estimated 750,000 jobs and counterfeit products are often of inferior quality and pose a health risk to consumers.
The bill would create an IP enforcement "czar" within the administration to work with agencies to develop a joint strategy to fight counterfeiting piracy. It will also give our government more power to hunt down and punish the criminals who make and sell the counterfeit goods that are making their way to American consumers. Under the legislation, increased resources will be dedicated through the Justice Department in support of efforts to crack down on IP theft, including much needed support to state and local law enforcement.
Under this legislation, a small manufacturer who is a victim of piracy or counterfeiting can recoup the infringer's ill-gotten gains in a civil action, above and beyond the increased civil penalties and any court ordered restitution. In addition, thieves whose counterfeit products harm consumers will face up to 20 years in prison or even life, if their illegal action causes death.
The NAM is committed to supporting House members in their effort to "finish the job" and send a final bill to the White House before the end of the 110th Congress.