Resolution on the Importance of International Intellectual Property Rights Protections


This draft model policy recognizes the importance of enacting and enforcing policies that protect intellectual property rights (IPR). The protection of IPR is associated with economic growth including high levels of foreign direct investment and the protection of consumers. The failure to protect IPR inhibits innovation and even creates a risk to national security due to the infiltration of counterfeit parts into the military supply chain. Intellectual property theft is a worldwide phenomenon and can only be countered with international cooperation on the part of agencies from around the globe charged with protecting IPR. Good policies must be matched with adequate enforcement to ensure that IPR are protected.

Resolution on the Importance of International Intellectual Property Rights Protections

WHEREAS, America’s Founding Fathers thought protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) was so important that they enshrined it in the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8; and

WHEREAS, the rule of law is fundamental to the protection of all property rights, including IPR; and

WHEREAS, the failure to protect IPR has been shown to slow economic growth, including but not limited to foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as to inhibit innovation; and

WHEREAS, IPR are affirmed as a human right in article 27 of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author,”; and

WHEREAS, there is a correlation between IPR protections and freedom of expression as creators vigorously defend their ability to create works of their choosing, free from censorship; and

WHEREAS, strong IPR protections promote economic freedom by allowing innovators and creators to support themselves financially; and

WHEREAS, maintenance of strong IPR protections and enforcement protect consumers from counterfeit products; and

WHEREAS, counterfeit parts have begun infiltrating the military supply chain creating a national security risk; and

WHEREAS, IPR provide the foundation for free markets, allowing innovators the flexibility to enter into contracts and to meet the demands of the market, overall improving the lives of producer and consumer alike; and

WHEREAS, IP-intensive jobs now make up a significant portion of the economy, sustaining millions of jobs and adding trillions of dollars to GDP across vast sections of the world; and

WHEREAS, studies have found that nations with laws protecting IPR also perform strongly in economic indicators such as Household Income, Gross Domestic Product and Foreign Direct Investment; and

WHEREAS, IPR are not uniformly or reliably supported in global markets, and in fact are actively undermined by weak legal frameworks and lack of effective enforcement, especially on e-commerce platforms,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the state of [INSERT STATE] calls on the Departments of State, Commerce, Homeland Security and Justice to emphasize protection of intellectual property rights among its embassy and law enforcement personnel overseas providing guidance to and enabling them to serve as effective advocates and enforcers of intellectual property rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the state of [INSERT STATE] encourages the Administration to work with Congress to enact legislation that expands the IP attaché to additional countries abroad and support appropriate elevation in rank for qualified attachés, as needed; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the state of [INSERT STATE] calls on the Office of the United States Trade Representative to employ all available trade policy mechanisms to advance global support for IPR; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, to the U.S. Secretary of State, to the U.S. Attorney General, to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, to the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, to the U.S. Trade Director of the FBI, and to the Director of The United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Approved by ALEC’s International Relations and Federalism Task Force at the ALEC Annual Meeting on Thursday July 23, 2015 and Friday, July 24, 2015. Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on September 4, 2015.