Focus on Importance of Intellectual Property Protection to Orlando's Economy
Washington, D.C. - Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Jon Dudas, joined by U.S. Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL), today told reporters on a conference call that protecting intellectual property against piracy and counterfeiting is a key part of economic growth, particularly in Orlando. Dudas and Feeney emphasized that intellectual property theft costs U.S. businesses approximately $250 billion annually and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
"Orlando is a leader in innovation and high-technology. Today's job numbers show that the U.S. has continued to add new jobs. Innovation in Florida is leading the way," noted Under Secretary Dudas.
Today, the Labor Department announced that the economy gained 51,000 new jobs in September, following the addition of 188,000 jobs in August. The economy has created more than 1.7 million jobs over the past 12 months. Additionally, the economy has grown 4.1 percent over the first half of this year. Unemployment in Florida is just 3.3 percent compared to 4.6 percent nationally. Orlando's unemployment is 3.2 percent.
Florida and the Orlando area are helping America grow and lead the world economy. Florida ranks fourth in the nation for high-technology jobs. Orlando has been ranked first in the country for gazelle jobs, those jobs that are in companies with annual sales revenue growth of 20 percent or more for four straight years. The Burnham Institute for Medical Research's recent decision to expand to the Orlando area will create more than 3,000 jobs and an atmosphere for high wage technology job growth.
'The Orlando economy, much like the rest of the country, is becoming more diversified through high-tech growth," Dudas continued. "Florida businesses are exporting more and exporting to new markets. More intellectual property-based jobs are being created, and the need to understand the importance of intellectual property protection is ever more critical."
Florida's high-tech exports totaled $9.4 billion in 2004, ranking third nationwide.
Combating intellectual property theft is a top priority for the Bush administration. A major federal government effort known as the Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP) aims to combat criminal networks that traffic in fakes, stop trade in pirated and counterfeit goods at America's borders and help small businesses secure and enforce their rights in overseas markets. As part of the initiative, the USPTO maintains a toll-free telephone hotline, 1-866-999-HALT, that helps businesses leverage the resources of the U.S. government to protect their intellectual property rights.
The USPTO also has a website specifically designed to address the needs of small businesses, and informational materials informing small businesses about the problem and steps they can take to mitigate it. Materials and other information about the awareness campaign are available at www.stopfakes.gov/smallbusiness.