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June 23, 2006

U.S. Attorney General on IP Theft

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U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales writes in an op/ed in InformationWeek that the administration has implemented all 31 recommendations of the Justice Department's 2001 Task Force on Intellectual Property.

Intellectual property theft is not only harmful to creators and innovators; it can harm consumers too. Many cheap counterfeit items manufactured abroad make their way to America and threaten the public's health and safety. Counterfeit batteries, auto parts, electrical cords, lamps, fire extinguishers, and other appliances enter the United States every day. These cheap items can malfunction, causing serious injury or even death. And it is not only the health and safety of Americans that is threatened. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 10 percent of the world's medicines are counterfeit.

I do think that this administration gets it on intellectual property, at least as far as enforcement goes. The question is whether the administration understands some of the strategic losses that are being incurred in the intellectual property area at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

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