20 February 2007

400th Post: US SAFE Port Act

Not for the first time I am indebted to my distinguished colleague Toni Tease of Billings, Montana for providing material for a post. Toni publishes an excellent monthly newsletter on IP called Intellections. This month's issue discusses The Security and Accountability For Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act). Interestingly her article is entitled "Montana's Senator Baucus Supports Allocating Resources for Increased Intellectual Property Protection." Nice to have a local politician interested in IP. I get the impression that my MP couldn't care less, I can't even get Auntie Kali to answer an invitation to address the Huddersfield Inventors Club.

Getting back to the point, SAFE provides US Customs with sufficient resources to protect IPR at the borders. Toni's Senator would have gone even further by establishing an Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Division within the customs service. That division would have collaborated with overseas governments in tracking and impounding pirate and counterfeit goods, funded extra legal staff and required the US government to ensure that foreign government enforced IP protection properly within their territories. As Toni says, SAFE is a step in the right direction but ......

This article marks my 400th post. I seem to mark milestones with articles on IPR enforcement. The very first one was on the Commission's brilliant plan to criminalize patent infirngement - hopefully kicked into touch by the European Parliament. Actually, come to think of it, there is at least one local politician with an interest in IP. One of our Yorkshire MEPs, Diana Wallis, was a commercial solicitor before she left our shores. She attended the first meeting of IPCEX and featured it on her website. Kali Mountford may not be much cop when it comes to promoting innovation and creativity but Diana Wallis is mustard.

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