by: Tamera H. BennettSeptember 28, 2008
On Friday, September 26, 2008, the Senate approved bill S.3325 which creates an executive level "Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator" requiring Senate confirmation.
The new IP Czar and her/his staff will report directly to the President and Congress on domestic intellectual property issues and is tasked with creating a nationwide plan to combat piracy.
What was missing out of the version that passed was a provision allowing the Justice Department to file civil copyright infringement cases. I think it was the right call to remove that provision. Many will disagree with me, but I think giving the Justice Department that power dilutes the power and strength of not only the Justice Department, but also the IP rights holder. Sometimes we (IP Holders) can swing a big hammer without needing the government to do it for us. Also, let the Justice Department focus on what they do best -- really going after the criminals.
The House passed its version of the bill (HR 4279) on May 8, 2008 and voted on September 28 to approve the Senate's version, which is very similar to its own. President Bush is expected to sign the bill.