The House voted overwhelmingly late Wednesday to establish new U.S. policy in opposition to any global climate change treaty that weakens the intellectual property rights of American green technology as part of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act. The vote comes as diplomats prepare for December negotiations as part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. “American innovations in clean energy technology create good-paying jobs today and will fuel our country’s economic growth in the future,” said Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., who offered the amendment with Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. Kirk, a member of the U.S. delegation to Kyoto in 1997, emphasized that jobs will not be created if foreign competitors are allowed to seize U.S. inventions.
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman’s core bill included language to increase resources and training for enforcement of intellectual property rights. Berman is a longtime leader on IP issues and chaired the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property in the 110th Congress. Under the bill, the Secretary of State would appoint 10 new IP attachés to serve in embassies or other diplomatic missions with priority placement given to countries with particularly egregious IP regimes. “This legislation will play a vital role in efforts to protect job-creating intellectual property abroad,” said Mark Esper, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Center.
Source: National Journal – Online 6/11/09