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Terre Haute, Ind. - Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Jon Dudas, joined by Congressman John Hostettler (IN-8), today told a group of Sony DADC officials and workers that intellectual property theft costs U.S. businesses approximately $250 billion annually and hundreds of thousands of jobs. He also applauded Sony-a worldwide leader in innovation-for their commitment to protect its most important intellectual capital.
"Most of the jobs in our economy are related to intellectual property in some form," noted Under Secretary Dudas. "Protecting intellectual property against piracy and counterfeiting is a key part of economic growth."
Today, the Labor Department announced that the economy gained 121,000 new jobs in the past month. Additionally, the economy zipped ahead this past quarter at 5.6 percent, the fastest pace in 2½ years.
Internationally, it is estimated that if the global piracy rate drops by 10 percent over four years, economies around the world would add 2.4 million new jobs and $400 billion in economic growth. "That would be good news to our economy and would help to create even more jobs here in Indiana and in the United States," said Dudas.
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.