Last week, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee announced the creation of a new subcommittee on intellectual property. The IP subcommittee will address a range of IP issues, including theft by state actors such as China. The announcement of the subcommittee comes in the wake of increasing tension over trade with China and shortly after the Department of Justice announced criminal charges against China’s Huawei Technologies for alleged trade secrets theft.
The IP subcommittee will be led by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), chairman, and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), ranking member, and will address policy issues regarding patents, copyrights, and trademarks, as well as trade secrets.
Senator Tillis stated that “[IP] issues are causing our nation’s economy to lose billions of dollars annually and threaten our country’s long-term technological dominance,” and that he is “…committed to working with Ranking Member Coons on a bipartisan basis to examine the current state of intellectual property in the United States and make targeted improvements to our intellectual property framework that protect and promote America’s innovation economy.” Senator Coons similarly stated that “[t]he United States needs to better protect innovation – the lifeblood of our economy – and this subcommittee will provide an important forum for addressing these critical policy issues.”