IP is Fully in Line with American Values
Jul 26, 2013
Recently, there has been a focus on patent trolls in Congress. There are more than five different bills sitting in committee all dealing with patent trolls in a variety of ways. However, patent trolls are not the only concern that the Intellectual Property (IP) rights holders and small business owners are concerned with these days. Piracy, counterfeiting, and other forms of IP theft are also occurring at alarming rates and effect millions of citizens every day.
Today (July 25) the American Consumer Institute (ACI) hosted an event titled “Intellectual Property: What are Consumers Saying.” ACI hosted the event, in part, to promote a recent survey that demonstrates the majority of Americans understand and support IP laws. According to their survey 86% of Americans believe that IP laws promote innovation. Furthermore, roughly 90% of Americans have the understanding that piracy, counterfeit goods, and corporate espionage are harmful to the US economy.
Consequently, strong support of the American public on IP rights falls directly in line with those conservative adages of rugged individualism and American exceptionalism. During the opening speech, Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) stated “…innovation is at the heart of America.” While a discussion about the US Constitution was not the principal purpose behind the panel discussion, it certainly became a very important consideration.
To demonstrate this idea, Representative Marsha Blackburn expresses that IP is protected in the US Constitution by way of Article One Section 8 which reads; “…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discovers….” Consequently, IP deserves to be protected in the ways that our Founding Fathers, like Madison in Federalist #43 indicated. Furthermore, British common law had IP protections, and our Constitution and legal system is built from British common law.
In fact, Tim Lee, Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs for the Center for Individual Freedom goes so far to say that IP laws and being able to protect your intellectual property is a natural rights issue. Intellectual Property should be afforded all the same protections as physical property because in the end there is no difference.
The main reason that protection of IP in the legal realm is so important is because of the impact it has on American society and the economy. According to Sandra Aistars, Executive Director of Copyright Alliance, there are roughly 5.1 million copyright jobs in the US alone. For every two jobs directly involved in copyright another one is created. Consequently, protecting copyrights and other forms of intellectual property is paramount to ensuring a growing, healthy economy.
Therefore, individual companies, individual creators, policy makers, and even consumers all need to collaborate together to ensure that IP rights are being protected to the highest degree.