Tuesday, 28 October 2008 17:52

I'VE GOT GOOD NEWS (FOR PLAINTIFFS) AND BAD NEWS (FOR DEFENDANTS)

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On October 13th, a bill increasing protection of intellectual property, namely, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007 (the “PRO-IP Act”) was signed into law by President Bush.    

The Act increases civil and criminal penalties for piracy and counterfeiting and creates a national "IP czar” who will be appointed by the Senate.  The Act also enhances the Department of Justice's ("DOJ") power to enforce IP rights by authorizing law enforcement agents to seize property from copyright infringers. 

The Pro-IP Act was a bi-partisan effort and passed without opposition in the Senate; nevertheless, there was extensive public opposition to the bill based on what were viewed as overly harsh penalties.  For example, an early version of the Act would have increased the statutory damages available for infringement of a single 12-track CD from $150,000 to $3,750,000.  After much criticism, this provision was removed from the bill.   

Regardless, some public advocacy groups are still crying foul over remaining provisions in the Act.  For example, the Act may allow thegovernment to seize all computers and devices from a home if a single, pirated MP3 is found on one machine. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the DOJ will resort to such draconian measures in enforcing private-party IP rights. 

The Act was roundly supported by major industry groups, such as the Recording Industry Association of America (“RIAA”), who contend that the Act will enhance global competitiveness and strengthen American creativity and jobs. 

More info available here.

Read 2072 times Last modified on Friday, 23 August 2013 16:11
Francisco Ferreiro

Mr. Ferreiro earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Florida. He earned his law degree with honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he also served as Research Editor for the Florida Law Review. He concentrates his practice in Trademark Prosecution, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Copyright Law. Mr. Ferreiro is admitted to practice law in Florida and New York state courts, as well as in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.