Fighting Cybercrime to Protect Intellectual Property

Despite political gridlock and partisanship in Washington, D.C., Congress and the president recognize intellectual property as a driver of economic growth in America. Unfortunately, cybercrime is on the rise, and intellectual property is oftentimes the primary target of cyber criminals. To protect intellectual property, the White House, Congress, and state governments all are working diligently to enhance cybersecurity.

Intellectual property is crucial to economic growth in America. Companies working with intellectual property make up more than one-third of the U.S. economy and employ more than 19 million workers in all 50 states. In 19 states, intellectual property-intensive industries support more than 1 million jobs. Those jobs tend to pay higher wages than jobs at companies that don’t deal with intellectual property.

Unfortunately, intellectual property rights are being infringed all over the world. In fact, piracy and counterfeit goods contribute to an economic loss to the United States of about $225 billion annually according to Havocscope. Seemingly innocuous acts such as watching a pirated movie or listening to pirated music contributes to an estimated 750,000 job losses in the U.S. that are a result of intellectual property infringement.

In his most recent State of the Union address, President Obama asked Congress to pass legislation to “meet the evolving threat of cyberattacks (and) combat identity theft.” Under Obama’s newest legislative proposal, the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, companies would be required to comply with a national response standard to cyber-breaches, which may pre-empt the 47 states that already have cyber-breach laws.

Last August, The Council of State Governments Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution to pursue opportunities to protect intellectual property, reduce fraudulent theft, and protect American businesses and consumers. In other words, state governments are ready to work with their federal counterparts to find mutually beneficial solutions to combat cybercrime and protect intellectual property.