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March 13, 2019



Members of the 116th Congress:

It is an exciting time for America, particularly in the knowledge-based economy. American entrepreneurship, ingenuity and creativity lead the world, and we believe that intellectual property (IP) rights are a key ingredient to American competitiveness.

The undersigned organizations represent millions of Americans through both state and national advocacy or engage in rigorous research and educational work on intellectual property rights. We would like to share with you the following information and guidelines that our respective organizations look to when we consider our strong support for intellectual property rights.

Intellectual Property Rights Are Grounded in the Constitution

The Founding Fathers recognized the importance of IP in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

This clause, articulated by the founders, is rooted in the notion that the best way to encourage creation and dissemination of new inventions and creative works to the benefit of both the public good and individual liberty is to recognize one’s right to his or her intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Rights Are a Fundamental Property Right Deserving the Same Respect as Physical Property

James Madison elaborated on this provision of the Constitution in Federalist Paper #43: With regard to intellectual property, as with all property rights protected in the common law, “[t]he public good fully coincides … with the claims of individuals.”

IP rights are not regulations—they are property rights that, when combined with the freedom to contract, facilitate markets. Governmental limitations and restrictions on property rights cause friction in the function of markets. IP owners have the same right as all property owners to sell or license their products and services in the market free of express or implicit price controls so they can recoup their investments and support their professional careers.

No one would say that the right to keep people out of your home is a regulation: it is a right of ownership. It is the limitations on the use and sale of one’s property that are regulations and controls.

Intellectual Property Rights Promote Free Speech and Expression

Strong IP rights go hand-in-hand with free speech as creators vigorously defend their ability to create works of their choosing, free from censorship.

By affording innovators and creators the ability to support themselves, IP rights promote free expression unencumbered by government.

Intellectual Property Rights are Vital to Job Growth & Economic Competitiveness

IP rights create jobs and fuel economic growth, turning intangible assets into exclusive property that can be traded in the marketplace.

The most recent report on IP-related jobs in the U.S., by the Department of Commerce and the Patent and Trademark Office,1 found that in 2014, direct employment in the most IP intensive industries accounted for 27.9 million jobs. Indirect activities associated with those industries provided an additional 17.6 million jobs, for a total of 45.5 million jobs, or 30 percent of all jobs in the economy.

The report also found that IP-intensive industries added $6.6 trillion to the value of GDP in 2014, equal to 38.2 percent of total GDP. In a knowledge-

based global economy, America’s ability to remain a world leader in creativity and innovation depends on strong protection of IP.

Intellectual Property Rights Must Be Protected Internationally Through Effective IP Provisions in Trade Agreements

Far too many foreign governments look the other way when it comes to the theft of IP. State-sanctioned IP theft from other countries costs the U.S. economy more than $320 billion annually.2

By harmonizing and strengthening IP standards, Congress and the Administration incentivize creativity, innovation and investment here
at home. Moreover, strong IP provisions in trade agreements allow local innovative and creative industries to flourish. Therefore, strong IP protections are integral to all trade agreement negotiations.

Intellectual Property Rights Are Integral to Consumer Protection and National Security

IP rights protect consumers by enabling them to make educated choices about the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of their purchases. In 2017, consumer electronics and parts represented 12 percent of total counterfeit goods seized, presenting a dangerous risk to American consumers if those products malfunction.3

Illegal intangible goods are also dangerous. One-third of websites offering stolen movies and television shows were found to contain malware, putting consumers at risk of identity theft, credit card fraud, and more.4

The ease of doing business online has also led to an increase in the number of sites selling illegal products. In 2017, the U.S. coordinated actions with 26 other countries to take down a record 1.21 million domain names and shutdown 2.2 million links to online marketplaces that sold counterfeit and copyright infringing products.5

The protection of IP rights is also vital to national security to prevent counterfeit parts, which compromise the reliability of weapons systems and the safety of military personnel, from entering the defense supply chain. A May 21, 2012 Senate Armed Services Committee report revealed 1,800 cases of counterfeiting, involving more than 1 million parts.6

Intellectual Property Rights Must Be Respected and Protected on the Internet

The internet is an incredible platform for innovation, creativity and commerce enabling widespread distribution of ideas and information. However, IP theft online is a persistent and growing problem. For example, between 2001 and 2015, U.S. recorded music revenues fell from $14 billion to $7 billion—losses largely attributed to online theft.7

Protecting IP and internet freedom are both critically important and complementary—they are not mutually exclusive. A truly free internet, like any truly free community, is one where people can engage in legitimate activities safely, and where bad actors are held accountable.

Voluntary Initiatives to Address Intellectual Property Theft Are Positive

Good faith actors in the internet ecosystem should engage in private sector, voluntary initiatives to address illegal conduct. These voluntary efforts can empower consumers to make educated decisions about their online activities and encourage creativity, innovation, investment and jobs.

We encourage you to consider these guidelines as you review and
discuss existing laws and regulations governing IP. The Founding Fathers understood that by protecting the proprietary rights of artists, authors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and inventors, they were promoting the greater public welfare. The continued protection of these fundamental rights is essential to American innovation and competitiveness.


2 Commission Report 052213.pdf
7 industry revenues 2015 mic

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis

60 Plus Association

James L. Martin

Founder/Chairman 60 Plus Association

Dee Stewart

Americans for a Balanced Budget

Dick Patten

American Business Defense Council

Phil Kerpen

American Commitment

Krisztina Pusok, Ph.D.

Director of Policy Research American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research

Matt Schlapp

American Conservative Union

Daniel Schneider

Executive Director
American Conservative Union Foundation

Chuck Muth

President Citizens Outreach

Lisa Nelson

American Legislative Exchange Council

Karla Jones

Director of International Relations American Legislative Exchange Council Action

Grover Norquist

Americans for Tax Reform

Rosa Mendoza

Executive Director ALLvanza

Ted Kalo

Executive Director Artists Rights Alliance

Sean O’Connor

Boeing International Professor
of Law Director
Center for Advanced Research
and Studies on Innovation Policy University of Washington School of Law

Ted Tripp

Sr. Political Reporter Boston Broadside

Nicol Turner-Lee

Fellow, Center for Technology Innovation, Governance Studies
The Brookings Institute
(Affiliation is provided for identification purposes only. The Brookings Institute does not take institutional positions)

Robert Alt

President & CEO
The Buckeye Institute

Marty Connors

Center/Right Coalition, Alabama

Ginevra Joyce-Myers

Executive Director
Center for Innovation and Free Enterprise

Jeffrey Mazzella

Center for Individual Freedom

Ashley N. Baker

Director of Public Policy The Committee for Justice

James Edwards

Executive Director
Conservatives for Property Rights

Matthew Kandrach

Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Tom Schatz

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Katie McAuliffe

Executive Director Digital Liberty

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow Technology and Democracy Project Discovery Institute

Stacy Milner

The Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program

Ryan Ellis

Center for a Free Economy

Mike Stenhouse

Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity

Eric Feinberg

Executive Director
Fans Against Kounterfeit Enterprise

Rick Watson

Florida Center/Right Coalition

George Landrith

Frontiers of Freedom

Grace-Marie Turner

President Galen Institute

Yvette Moises

Georgia Latino Film Festival

Joshua D. Wright

Executive Director
Global Antitrust Institute Antonin Scalia Law School George Mason University

Adam Mossoff

Professor of Law
Antonin Scalia Law School George Mason University

Carly Fiorina

Former CEO Hewlett Packard

Mario H. Lopez

Hispanic Leadership Fund

Harold Furchtgott-Roth

Senior Fellow Hudson Institute

Robert M. McDowell

Senior Fellow Hudson Institute


Mark F. Schultz

President, Institute for IP Research Professor, Southern Illinois University School of Law

Tom Giovanetti

Institute for Policy Innovation

Andrew Langer

Institute for Liberty

Robert D. Atkinson

Founder & President Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

Carrie Lukas

Independent Women’s Forum

Heather R. Higgins

Independent Women’s Voice

Joseph A. Giacalone

Professor of Economics St. John’s University For Public Policy

Sal J. Nuzzo

Vice President of Policy
The James Madison Institute

Brett Healy

The John K. MacIver Institute

Seton Motley

Less Government

Bartlett D. Cleland

Managing Principal
Madery Bridge Associates, LLC

Matthew Gagnon

Chief Executive Officer Maine Heritage Policy Center

Charles Sauer

President Market Institute

Dr. Jameson Taylor

Vice Pres. for Policy
Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Maurita Coley Flippin, Esq.

President & CEO Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council

Justin Ve´lez-Hagan

National Executive Director National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce

Calixto Chinchilla

Founder & Executive Director New York Latino Film Festival

Douglas Kellogg

Executive Director Ohioans for Tax Reform

Honorable Jeff Kropf

Oregon House of Representatives (Ret) Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation

Daniel Erspamer

Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Ed Martin

Phyllis Schlafly Eagles

Lorenzo Montanari

Executive Director Property Rights Alliance

Drew Johnson

Senior Fellow
National Center for Public Policy

Charlie Gerow

Pennsylvania Center Right Coalition

Steven J. Smith

Executive Director
Public Policy Institute and Media & Telecom Project Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Karen Kerrigan

President & CEO
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Tim Andrews

Executive Director
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

David Williams

Taxpayers Protection Alliance Foundation

Jenny Beth Martin

Honorary Chairman
Tea Party Patriots Action

Jose Marquez

Tech Latino

Sara Croom

Executive Director
Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity

Christopher Holman

Professor of Law
University of Missouri-Kansas City

Kristen Osenga

Professor of Law
University of Richmond School of Law

Jonathan Taplin

Founding Director Emeritus Annenberg Innovation Lab University of Southern California

Ramiro Cavazos

President & CEO
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce