Legislation co-sponsored by Bono Mack would step up U.S. efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting

Founding co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Intellectual Property Promotion and Piracy Prevention, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today praised House passage of H.R. 4279, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO IP) Act.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Bono Mack, would create within the Executive Office of the President the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative to combat counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property (IP) and for coordinating national and international enforcement efforts to protect IP rights. Among its provisions, the PRO IP Act would also strengthen criminal and civil IP laws. This bill passed today by a vote of 410-11.

“Within our nation and throughout the world, we are seeing an alarming increase in copyright violations and piracy,” said Bono Mack. “It is time to take a more comprehensive, global approach to combating this trend that stifles creativity and threatens America ’s economic prosperity. We must do this by updating our laws and increasing the tools available to the federal government.

“American companies – ranging from movie studios to industrial manufacturers to family farms – cannot remain competitive in the global economy if their products and ideas are stolen. I am pleased that the House has taken this critical step to dealing with this crisis and ensuring that those whose creative work has so enriched our world get the credit and compensation they deserve under the law.”

Counterfeiting and piracy have already cost Americans approximately 750,000 jobs and deprive U.S. businesses of almost $250 billion in revenue each year, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Bono Mack, with three of her colleagues, launched the Congressional Caucus on Intellectual Property Promotion and Piracy Prevention on June 17, 2003, and since coming to Congress has been a strong advocate for IP rights in the U.S. and throughout the world.

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