Safeguarding Intellectual Property and Promoting Innovation
Intellectual property is a critical driver of technological innovation and economic competitiveness — and it is at the very heart of the software business, encouraging innovators to invest in research and product development for the benefit of customers and consumers.
- Patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other IP rights should be comprehensive and enforceable.
- Trading partners should not use IP rights to promote local industries or stave off international competition.
- Companies should not use licensing practices, especially of patents, to create unfair competitive advantages.
Specific policy actions needed:
Strengthening IP enforcement
- Through bilateral, multilateral, and regional trade forums, expand efforts to combat software IP infringement in the world’s fastest-growing markets for information technology, such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
- Devote adequate resources and law enforcement training to vigorously enforce copyright and trademark laws domestically and internationally.
- Improve coordination among US agencies by continuing to advance the US IP Enforcement Coordinator’s Joint Strategic Plan.
- Improve cooperation among governments around the world so law enforcement can respond quickly and effectively to IP crimes.
- Encourage governments to create specialized IP law enforcement units that have the expertise to investigate IP crimes
- Support the legal principle that software companies should be allowed to serve their customers with product licenses that cover price, volume, transferability, and other considerations.
- Support full implementation of the America Invents Act, which modernizes and improves the quality of the US patent system for the information age.
- Ensure that patents are available to inventions in the software field just as they are available to inventions in any other industry.
- Ensure that disputes over standard-essential patents are not litigated in forums where the only available remedies are market-exclusion orders that disrupt the availability of IT products and services for consumers.
- Affirm that an open and free Internet cannot exist without robust protections for intellectual property.
- Oppose legislated or regulated technology mandates that dictate government procurement and other policies favoring one technology, system architecture, or business model over another.
- Educate the public about the roles that intellectual property rights play in fostering innovation, creating jobs, and raising wages.
- Strengthen and make permanent the research and development tax credit.
- Ensure other US tax laws promote investment in new technologies, provide a level playing field for American companies at home and abroad, and promote investment of earnings from overseas sales.