IP Enforcement Is Top Priority in Obama Budget

Last month, President Obama released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013. Although it is unlikely to pass in its current form, the proposal does offer insights on the administration’s goals for the upcoming year.

In terms of intellectual property, cracking down on counterfeiting and copyright infringement appears to be a top priority. While the White House did not support legislative efforts to address these growing problems, it has tasked the Justice Department with stepping up enforcement.

As reported by Reuters, the 2013 budget specifically cites the need to combat international piracy of intellectual property. In a statement justifying its budget request, the DOJ notes, “Industry loses hundreds of billions of dollars each year due to the counterfeiting and global trade of illegitimate goods. IP theft also reduces the incentive for innovation and creativity within the US economy.”

The Department specifically seeks $5 million to hire 14 new employees, including nine attorneys and six International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) coordinators, to focus on intellectual property crimes. According to the DOJ, these positions are intended to allow the government to quickly address IP threats when they are first noticed and stop them abroad more readily.

“We’ve had an increase in the number of cases that we’re dealing with in IP (intellectual property),” Deputy Attorney General James Cole stated. “We think this is an area that really needs some focus and some efforts and increases in the future.”

In terms of technology and innovation, the DOJ also asks Congress for an increase of $15.2 million to address new emerging cyber security threats, including insider threats; provide advanced intrusion detection and response capabilities; and implement cost efficient, scalable enterprise architecture.

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