U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Protecting American innovation and intellectual property

America is the most innovative country on the planet, but patent infringers and copyright violators sap our economic vitality.  Protecting American innovation means protecting American jobs. Offline and online, protecting American intellectual property is an economic security imperative.

The theft of intellectual property affects tens of thousands of local jobs in Delaware, where leaders of businesses large and small have made it clear that foreign criminals pirating their products, designs and ideas are a serious threat to their ability to grow and create jobs.

Senator Coons’ intellectual property priorities include:

  • Protecting U.S. consumers from counterfeit goods.  U.S. consumers rely on trademarks to ensure that medicines are safe and effective and that branded goods are of the quality that consumers expect.  Senator Coons helped provide increased authority for customs agents to share information about suspected infringing shipments and seize articles that are not genuine.
  • Modernizing U.S. patent law.  For many years, U.S. innovators have suffered from an inefficient patent and trademark office, severe backlogs, and poor quality patents.  Senator Coons supported the America Invents Act, which transitions the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to a modern, fee-funded patent office.  He is also engaged in regular oversight to make sure that USPTO brings its backlog down while increasing the quality of the patents that it issues.
  • Provide a federal forum for victims of trade secret theft.  Trade secret theft is a huge and growing threat to U.S. businesses.  Increasingly, foreign governments and businesses are sponsoring trade secret theft for export abroad.  And yet, a victim U.S. company cannot sue for trade secret theft under federal law.  Senator Coons supports providing for a federal right of action for trade secret theft, putting trade secrets on an even footing with other intellectual property rights, such as patents and copyrights.
  • Promote global protection of IP rights. Fighting global IP piracy depends on reaching global agreement about how IP should be protected.  That’s why Senator Coons supports strong IP protections as a part of any new free trade agreement, including the Trans Pacific Partnership currently under negotiation.


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