Press Releases

Small Business Owners Report U.S. Trade Agreements Help Protect Intellectual Property

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Washington,D.C. , July 21, 2010 | Alexandra Haynes ((202) 225-5821) | comments
Today, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing entitled “The Impact of Intellectual Property on Entrepreneurship and Job Creation” to examine the importance of intellectual property on small businesses’ economic growth.

Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) said, “Protecting intellectual property is critical to our economy, jobs, and consumers.  A violation of intellectual property laws directly affects a company’s brand, market share, bottom line, ability to export, and creates a number of safety concerns for consumers.  It’s very easy to see the trickle-down effect this has on an economy.  It is important that the United States maintains an aggressive strategy to protecting these highly valued assets.”

Witnesses from industries such as music, technology and manufacturing discussed the important role that intellectual property has played in growing their business.  Witnesses also explained how their businesses have been adversely affected by counterfeiting and piracy.

During the hearing, Ranking Member Graves asked whether U.S. trade agreements have gone far enough to enforce intellectual property laws.  The witnesses generally agreed that recent U.S. trade agreements have taken important steps to strengthen global intellectual property protections.  One witness, Mr. William Mansfield, Director of Intellectual Property at ABRO Industries in South Bend, Indiana, stated, “The more America is involved with other countries in these trade agreements, the better Americans are able to function in those structures and the more respect is given to intellectual property rights.”

For more video from today’s hearing, click here.

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