PROTECT IP Act Introduced In Senate

U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; and seven
co-sponsors have introduced the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of
Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP Act) targeting the illegal online sale of counterfeit

The act, which comes in the wake of bipartisan legislation that was introduced in 2010 and
was supported unanimously by Senate Judiciary Committee members, provides a narrower definition of
a so-called rogue website that sells copyright-infringing or counterfeit products including
consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and new movie and music releases. It also sets down tools and
authorizations to facilitate enforcement of the act’s provisions. It is estimated that the sale of
infringing and counterfeit goods has resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs as
well as billions of dollars in sales and tax revenues.

“This legislation will protect the investment American companies make in developing brands
and creating content and will protect the jobs associated with those investments,” said Leahy, who
is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It will also protect American consumers, who should
feel confident that the goods they purchase are of the type and quality they expect. The PROTECT IP
Act targets the most egregious actors, and is an important first step to putting a stop to online
piracy and sale of counterfeit goods.”

The original legislation introduced last year garnered the support of numerous interested
organizations including labor unions, media organizations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and
others. The American Apparel & Footwear Association, (AAFA), Arlington, Va., has expressed
strong support for the newest legislation; and together with the Boulder, Colo.-based Outdoor
Industry Association and the Washington-based  International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition has
sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee recommending further measures that would strengthen
the legislation.

“Footwear, apparel, and fashion accessories are some of the most counterfeited goods in the
world. As U.S. consumers continue to embrace e-commerce as a key shopping method, rogue Web sites
have emerged as a popular way for counterfeiters to get fake goods into the United States,” said
Kevin M. Burke, president and CEO, AAFA.

“This bill sets us in the right direction to providing us with a full arsenal of tools that
will be helpful in fighting these rogue Web sites,” Burke continued. “We look forward to working
with Senator Leahy and his Senate colleagues, along with their House counterparts, to ensure that
the final legislation is as strong as possible to bring about meaningful intellectual property
protections for the U.S. apparel and footwear industry.” 

May 17, 2011