U.S. Chamber of Commerce Makes the Case for IP Rights

May 21, 2013

In an article posted this week on Free Enterprise, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Donohue highlights the often-overlooked “positive side” of the intellectual property rights debate and the economic benefits of enforcing IP rules.

Donohue writes, in part:

There are millions of good actors who contribute to America’s economic strength and competitiveness when they abide by IP rules   as they invent and innovate – or when they fight to protect IP through enforcement.

The good guys can be found all across the country in startups, studios, and labs, where they are turning their ideas into real products and services.  Honest and law-abiding innovators are helping raise our quality of life, improve choices and safety for consumers, enrich our culture, drive our economy, and create opportunity for others.

Donohue goes on to note that IP-based industries such as the beloved film, TV and music trades account for $5.8 trillion in gross domestic product and nearly 56 million jobs in the U.S.  The motion picture and TV industry alone supports 2.1 million jobs across the country including 91,000 in New York, 8,600 in Louisiana, and 191,000 in California.

But proper enforcement of IP rules, Donohue argues, is critical to giving artists and inventors the assurance they need to continue creating.  “Without a strong system of IP rights, such assurance is threatened – along with economic growth and job creation,” he writes.

We couldn’t agree more.  If we expect the nation’s talented and diverse crop of innovators to continue making movies, writing songs or inventing the next piece of technology that changes the way we live, we have to encourage policies that allow these innovators to benefit off their work so they can invest in making more of it.