President Bush has appointed Chris Israel as the new Coordinator of International Intellectual Property Enforcement, a position Congress created last year to coordinate law-enforcement efforts aimed at stopping international copyright infringement and to oversee a federal umbrella agency responsible for administering intellectual property law. Intellectual property law enforcement is divided among a range of agencies, including the Library of Congress, the Justice and State departments and the U.S. Trade Representative.

As the Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement, Israel will head the international work of the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council (NIPLECC) and coordinate and supervise international intellectual property protection plans among other agencies. This is a part of the implementation of the Bush administration’s “Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP)” initiative. The initiative protects American businesses and their products from counterfeiters and pirates.

Although NIPLECC has been around since the early 1990s, it has never actually done anything, and the hope is that giving the organization some money and a new charter will finally give the office some backbone.

Obviously, a large goal is to reduce counterfeits in China since the piracy levels there approach 90%. The Commerce Department estimates that nearly 7% of the products in the global market are counterfeit, costing U.S. companies up to $200 billion a year in lost sales.

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