White House Report Highlights Importance of Protecting IP

Friday, Feb 22, 2019, 12:00pm

by Harry Clapsis, Global Policy Fellow


The U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) on Feb. 4 issued the Trump Administration’s 2018 Annual Intellectual Property Report. The report lays out a four-part strategy to promote and protect intellectual property (IP): engagement with trading partners, effective use of legal authorities, expanded law enforcement action and cooperation, and engagement and partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders. Continued promotion and protection of critical IP would strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry, the broader tech sector, and our economy. SIA applauds the Administration’s focus on protecting IP.

Mandated by Congress, the IPEC report provides an overview of the Trump Administration’s IP enforcement strategy and policy efforts, with semiconductors featuring throughout the report. The report discusses indictments by the Department of Justice against companies that allegedly stole the trade secrets of an American semiconductor company. The report also highlights the Counterfeit Microelectronics Working Group meetings, which focus on enhancing communication between law enforcement and industry to combat the proliferation of counterfeit semiconductors.

As part of their IP policy efforts, the Trump Administration has also begun developing a new three-year Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. In public comments submitted to the Administration on this plan, SIA called on the Administration to maintain a strong focus on combatting the misappropriation of trade secrets and to minimize the prevalence of counterfeit semiconductors through a variety of methods, including requiring U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prioritize the seizure of semiconductor counterfeits and the prosecution of counterfeiters.

Intellectual property is the lifeblood of the semiconductor industry. The U.S. semiconductor industry invests about one-fifth of its revenue in R&D, among the highest shares of any industry. Protecting the IP created by this significant R&D investment is critically important.

SIA looks forward to working with the Administration to prioritize IP enforcement, including an increased focus on the protection of trade secrets and increased action to combat counterfeit semiconductors in the supply chain.