CCIA Urges FTC and DoJ to Broaden Intellectual Property Policy Role

March 20, 2002

Washington, DC – The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) President & CEO, Ed Black, testifying today before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ), called on the two agencies need to increase their involvement in intellectual property policy processes. The testimony came as FTC and the DoJ Antitrust Division co-hosted hearings entitled “Competition and Intellectual Property Law and Policy in the Knowledge-Based Economy.”

Mr. Black’s testimony indicated the two agencies must become more aggressive in the interagency and inter-branch processes on behalf of competition and the open sharing of ideas, rather than deferring to other agencies that have only a technical expertise. The goal is to have the agencies act as countervailing forces to those that seek to extend intellectual property rights at the expense of competition and innovation. Mr. Black said of the agencies, “Their role is to protect the public against monopoly power, and the various interests seeking to expand their intellectual property monopolies through legislation.”

In his testimony, Mr. Black urged the agencies to find the fundamental balance between protection and competition in intellectual property-dependent industries. Mr. Black warned that failure to do so “would have the unfortunate consequence of eliminating competition, and causing serious consumer harm to innovation and technological development.”

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