Bush taps Chris Israel to head US' IPR enforcement initiatives

MUMBAI: US President George Bush has created a new senior-level position to fight the menace of global piracy and counterfeiting of American products ranging from Hollywood movies to Detroit auto parts.

Bush has tapped Chris Israel as the new coordinator of international intellectual property enforcement. He is currently the deputy chief of staff for US commerce secretary Carlos M Gutierrez. Israel was at one time a public policy executive at Time Warner.

In his new role, Israel will work with agencies across the US administration to develop policies to address international intellectual property violations and enforce intellectual property laws overseas. In this role, he will head the international work of the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council (NIPLECC) and coordinate and supervise international intellectual property protection plans among other agencies.

Israel will accordingly play a significant role in the implementation of the Bush Administrations STOP Initiative. Nearly seven per cent of the goods in the global marketplace are counterfeit. According to USTRs 2005 Special 301 Report, in China alone, 90 per cent of the music and movies sold are pirated. The Bush administration states that it has worked aggressively to combat intellectual property theft through enhanced enforcement and prosecution for intellectual property crimes and also through state of the art intellectual property protections in trade agreements.

Gutierrez says, Intellectual property theft costs US businesses billions of dollars and weakens our economy. American ingenuity and innovation are driving forces in our economy and we need to protect our ideas, both at home and abroad. This new position will help us to be more aggressive and also help us to better coordinate our fight against intellectual property pirates."

Israel has served as deputy chief of staff for the Secretary of Commerce since 2004, where he has helped advance the Bush administrations agenda of growing the economy, promoting trade expansion and protecting intellectual property rights.

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