President Obama late Tuesday issued an executive order calling for the creation of two intellectual property enforcement advisory committees aimed at enhancing the efforts of the U.S. government to protect U.S. intellectual property.
The executive order created a Senior Intellectual Property Advisory Committee that will be headed by Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel. It will be made up of the heads or deputies of nine agencies including the Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, State and Treasury departments as well as the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
The committee will be charged with "the effective and efficient enforcement of laws protecting copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and other forms of intellectual property, both in the United States and abroad, including matters relating to combating infringement, and thereby support efforts to reinvigorate the Nation's global competitiveness, accelerate export growth, promote job creation, and reduce threats posed to national security and to public health and safety," according to the order.
The committee's members also will be charged with helping Espinel craft the joint strategic plan, which is required every three years by law, for enforcing U.S. IP laws.
The order called for the creation of a second interagency Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committee, which is made up of officials from various agencies involved in IP enforcement such as Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, the Patent and Trademark Office and the State Department's Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs.
The leaders of the House Judiciary Committee applauded the administration's order. Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, called the executive order "a good start."
"By encouraging cooperation and communication between the federal agencies tasked with protecting IP, these committees can target counterfeiting trends and recommend responses," Smith said in a statement.
Smith and Judiciary ranking member John Conyers, D-Mich., both noted that the executive order was made under authority granted by legislation they helped pass in 2007, which created Espinel's post. "We hope these committees implement an effective plan to protect consumers and spur innovation," Conyers added.