News
Save the Date! Launch of 2011 International Property Rights Index
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 12:50 pm | By Kelsey Zahourek

 Followed by a discussion by a panel of experts on what the Index means for property rights in the 112th Congress and around the globe

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
9:30-11:00AM

National Press Club
13th Floor -- Lisagor, White, and Murrow Rooms

 
Confirmed Speakers
Kyle Jackson, 2010 Hernando de Soto Fellow
Stan McCoy, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, USTR Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation
Terry Miller, Director, Center for International Trade and Economics, Heritage Foundation
Christina Walsh, Director of Activism and Coalitions, Institute for Justice

RSVP
kzahourek @ propertyrightsalliance.org

Property Rights Alliance has partnered with sixty-seven (67) global institutions to present the 2011 International Property Rights Index (IPRI)

The 2011 International Property Rights Index (IPRI) is an international comparative study that measures the significance of both physical and intellectual property rights and their protection for economic well-being. Property Rights Alliance initiated the IPRI studies for the Hernando de Soto Fellowship Program to contribute to developing accurate and comprehensive measures regarding property rights (PR) on an international scale. The International Property Rights Index will provide the public, researchers and policymakers, from across the globe, with a tool for comparative analysis and future research on global property rights. In order to incorporate and grasp the important aspects related to property rights protection, the Index focuses on three areas: Legal and Political Environment (LP), Physical Property Rights (PPR), and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The current study analyzes data for 129 countries around the globe, representing ninety-seven percent of world GDP. Of great importance, the 2011 gauge incorporates data of PR protection from various sources, often directly obtained from expert surveys within the evaluated countries.

 

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Virginia Senate Moves Forward on Eminent Domain Reform
Friday, February 25, 2011 3:37 pm | By Kelsey Zahourek

This week, the Virginia Senate came one step closer to enacting true reform that would end eminent domain abuse in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In a 35-5 vote, the Senate approved a constitutional amendment that would redefine and limit the public uses for which private property may be confiscated by the government. Eminent domain is still allowed under this legislation for traditional public uses, such as schools and transportation projects for the state of Virginia, but the state would be required to fully compensate the owner. Eminent domain for the purpose of private economic development would be prohibited under the amendment.

In a Richmond Times Dispatch op-ed, A. Barton Hinkle made the case for why reform is needed in Virginia by offering a few cases of abuse that involved:

•Roanoke seizing a building that belonged to the owners of a mom-and-pop flooring company so it could turn the property over to Carilion, a billion-dollar health-care corporation.

•Norfolk trying to seize the property of Central Radio so it could hand the land over to Old Dominion University.

•VDOT trying to cheat a small day-care owner out of just compensation — and spending more on lawyers to fight the case than it would have shelled out by paying her original asking price.

The 2005 Kelo v. City of New London decision by the Supreme Court provided local governments the unrestricted opportunity to take homes and small businesses for private development. Following this court decision, legislation in both Congress and state capitals around the country has been debated on what the proper role of government is with regard to the use of eminent domain.

This is just the beginning of the process to enact reform in Virginia. For an amendment to be added to the constitution, the amendment must pass the General Assembly twice with an election in between and then go to a vote of the people through the referendum process.
 

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Intellectual Property Still Remains a Major Issue
Friday, February 25, 2011 11:57 am | By Katerina Bricker

With the recent Senate Judiciary hearing on rogue websites and the upcoming hearing in the House Judiciary’s IP subcommittee regarding the White House’s IP office, intellectual property continues the remain at the forefront of policy debates.

Theft of intellectual property is a huge problem in the United States, as well as the world. Doing a simple Google search, you will find articles, citing fake cigarettes, pirated DVDs/CDs, fake purses, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, fake iPads, fake sports jerseys, and the list goes on. This is an ever-growing issue in the U.S. and keeps getting worse the more technology seems to advance.
 
A report released by the IPEC on Intellectual Property Enforcement states that in 2010, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) opened 1,033 intellectual property investigations, which lead to 365 arrests, 216 indictments, and 170 convictions. In 2009, 730 investigations were opened, 266 arrests took place, 116 indictments, and 164 convictions. The numbers speak for themselves. The ICE’s intellectual property investigations increased by more than 41% and arrests increased by more than 37% from 2009. The FBI’s intellectual property investigations increased by more than 44% from 2009.
 
Intellectual property drives this economy. IP accounts for half of our exports and employs nearly 18 million workers. But this is not an issue that affects the U.S. alone. The 2010 International Property Rights Index, released by PRA, found people in countries that protect their physical and intellectual property enjoy a GDP per capita up to eight times greater than those without legal protection. As Congress considers rogue sites legislation and the administration looks to move forward on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the debate on intellectual property rights won't fade away anytime soon.

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