White house IP Czar Victoria Espinel spoke at BIO’s 2011 International Convention in a session titled Counterfeiting: How corporations and government can work together. She told the audience that when entering her new assignment she was surprised to find out that counterfeiting was a large problem in the United States and not just abroad.
The Administration has increased enforcement in counterfeit medicines as seizures of health related counterfeits have gone up 97% from last year. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reached out through the World Customs Organization to do coordinated enforcement with certain enforcement actions involving 45 countries.
Espinel explained how 17,000 people in the U.S. Government touch IP enforcement and how her office’s strategy to coordinate government officials to combat counterfeits has made considerable progress. Espinel also outlined their efforts to encourage industry cooperation to fight online counterfeits through a voluntary non-regulatory approach.
Finally, Espinel relayed to the audience the importance of IP enforcement to the Administration, especially Vice President Joe Biden.
When asked about efforts in Geneva to brand anti-counterfeit efforts as efforts to eliminate legitimate goods from the market, Espinel responded that the Administration thought such accusations were “ridiculous.”