Thursday, June 6, 2013
New York STOPFakes Op-ed
By Mark Elliot and Nancy Ploeger
Creative and innovative industries are the cornerstone to New York’s rich cultural and economic history, and also offer opportunities for a prosperous future.
New York’s creative spirit is its economic engine. According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, over one-third of the private sector employment in the state depends on the products and economic activity generated by copyrights, patents, and trademarks belonging to New Yorkers. Those 2.8 million jobs generate 40% of New York’s gross state product.
New York is known for giving creators and entrepreneurs a shot at their dreams. This state attracts incredibly diverse, innovative and creation-friendly individuals, including budding Broadway stars to accomplished scientists. Intellectual property (IP) rights fuel the creative genius of New York’s homegrown talent, and attract businesses from around the country and the world to invest in our people.
New York is home to a wide array of entrepreneurial businesses and innovators, like health care, media, advertising, fashion designers, university researchers, gaming and software firms, and filmmakers, just to name a few. All of these rely on the assurance of IP rights to continue to research, create jobs, and develop breakthrough technologies and products. Protecting and promoting IP rights is essential to keeping our economic momentum going.
IP theft is a major concern for businesses and industries of all sizes. Today, stealing creative products can be measured by clicks of the mouse, as well as patent and trademark infringement, like fake car parts, counterfeit sporting goods, or phony plastics. And this occurrence is all too common. With $650 billion lost annually to counterfeited products and pirated goods worldwide, it is imperative that we support the efforts of agencies like Customs and Border Protection and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to help fight this bleed on our economy.
The downside to fake goods is not limited to the negative impact on a company’s bottom line. They also have the potential to hurt consumers. Overseas IP thieves are slapping trusted brand names onto dangerously deceptive fakes, from pirated music infected with computer malware, to counterfeit airbags that could fail to deploy when your family needs them most.
It’s not just practical, it’s good business sense to equip companies and industries with the know-how to identify and stave off the drain of IP theft. IP protections provide the incentive for innovators and creators to push the limits of human ingenuity to develop new products that improve our lives, whether they be a hit song, the newest tech gadget, or even a life-saving medicine.
With New York’s long history of creativity and innovation, defending IP rights and empowering the people who hold those rights, like artists, is essential to our economic vitality. After all, as Frank Sinatra famously crooned, “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”
Mark Elliot is the Executive Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center.
Nancy Ploeger is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce