State Department ramps up IP protection efforts

The State Department is stepping up its efforts to protect U.S. intellectual property around the world.

Robert D. Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, said this week in an official blog post that he is working closely with the Obama administration's new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, to develop a strategy to better protect U.S. interests overseas.

He also said the State Department is involved in government-to-government training programs for judges, prosecutors and customs and border officials in key countries.

"Over the past several weeks, I have met with representatives of numerous internet and technology companies, the entertainment industry--including unions representing creative industry workers--agribusiness, pharmaceutical companies and others in the private sector," he said in the blog. "All mentioned the importance of intellectual property protection."

He also said he is asked repeatedly how the State Department can help to protect U.S. interests.