The Foreign Service Journal, February 2011

36 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 1 sion in the USTR’s Special 301 Re- port, to be published in April. The Value of Protecting Innovation The Founding Fathers’ foresight with regard to intellectual property rights laid the foundation for our strong economy by ensuring the freedom to innovate and offering in- centives to encourage innovation. More than two centuries later, Pres. Obama launched the U.S. government’s Strategy for American Innovation, in- tended to direct more than $100 billion in American Re- covery and Reinvestment Act funds to projects that will spur innovation. In announcing the program in 2009, the president com- mented: “History should be our guide. The United States led the world’s economies in the 20th century because we led the world in innovation. Today, the competition is keener; the challenge is tougher; and that is why innovation is more important than ever. It is the key to good, new jobs for the 21st century. That’s how we will ensure a high quality of life for this generation and future generations.” Everyone wants to live in soci- eties where promoting cultural de- velopment, fostering innovation and growth, and protecting public health and safety are goals that are cherished and fostered. So we should be wary of all arguments for weakening in- tellectual property protections, which would put these val- ues at risk and undermine our future. With that basic principle in mind, State’s Office of In- tellectual Property Enforcement is dedicated to protect- ing the right of 21st-century Benjamin Franklins to benefit from their inventions and creations—not just at home but all over the world. F O C U S While piracy affects the entire U.S. economy, counterfeit medicines pose a particularly serious global public health and safety threat. Watch for the October FSJ ’s annual roundup of books by current and former members of the Foreign Service and their families. 2011 A NNUAL FS A UTHORS R OUNDUP