Washington, D.C. — A group of concerned U.S. businesses, academics and industry stakeholders have joined together to help stop the unfair competition that results from widespread theft of Intellectual Property (IP) and Information Technology (IT). The National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI) is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to increase awareness of the problem of stolen IP and the negative impact on jobs, innovation and economic growth. NAJI represents the apparel, manufacturing and technology industries and is comprised of more than 100 U.S. companies and associations, including AIMS 360, Marlin Steel, Microsoft and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
Every year, firms around the world steal billions of dollars worth of IP. In particular, the theft of IT, which is critical to manufacturing, is estimated to cost more than $63 billion a year in commercial software value alone. While NAJI recognizes this is a global problem and all companies need to play by the same rules and pay for their IP, the organization’s focus is on educating the U.S. public about the problem and how it affects American business and economic growth.
- IP-intensive industries directly accounted for 27.1 million American jobs, or 18.8 percent of all employment in 2010 (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce report on “IP and U.S. Economy” 2012)
- The manufacturing sector accounts for 11.7 million jobs nationwide, or nearly 11 percent of private sector employment (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011)
- Between 2001 and 2010, the U.S. lost nearly 30 percent of its manufacturing jobs. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2001-2010)
- In 2010 alone, manufacturers in the U.S. spent nearly $95 billion on Information Technology (IT), which is a critical component of research and development and production (Source: IDC United States Black Book 2Q11, 2011)
- More than $63 billion worth of software was stolen last year globally(Source: BSA Global Software Piracy Study, 2011)
- A global piracy reduction by 10 percent in four years would result in more than $37 billion in added U.S. GDP, $6.2 billion in U.S. tax revenue and 25,000 new U.S. jobs (Source: BSA Piracy Impact Study, 2010)
Several of NAJI’s members have been fighting against IT theft and describe how important it is to fix the problem – both for the survival of their businesses and for the good of the U.S. economy:
“This crime hits especially hard at American manufacturing. Most manufacturers are small to mid-size shops that can’t weather the wholesale rip-off of their intellectual property. Additionally, this type of theft undercuts the very technological advantage that businesses like mine have over competitors that steal technology,” said Drew Greenblatt, president and owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Maryland. “I’m proud to be a member of NAJI, working to help solve this critical problem and to rightfully protect American job creation and competitiveness.”
Shahin Kohan, president of AIMS 360/Focal Technology Solutions in Los Angeles, noted, “As a software company owner, I have seen firsthand the consequences of piracy: unemployment, lost revenue and unfair competition. Until we address this theft, I cannot be assured that the first copy of software I sell in a country where piracy is common won’t be my last copy. I’m working as part of NAJI to build the partnerships needed amongst other businesses, consumers and elected officials to tackle the problem of IT theft and piracy.”
“Microsoft has long-recognized that pirated IT undermines innovation and puts law-abiding businesses at a disadvantage when competing with companies that take the shortcut of stealing intellectual property. We’re pleased to join 100 other companies and organizations in the fight to stop IT and IP theft that destroys jobs, hurts economic growth and creates an unfair playing field for law abiding manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad," said Microsoft spokesman Mark Lamb.
Additionally, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) – a trade association representing 12,000 manufacturing companies from every state in the U.S. – has joined the fight. “The manufacturing industry is critical to creating jobs, driving revenue and reviving the American economy. Among many pressures on manufacturers, IT theft takes away the competitive edge in the marketplace that many businesses in the U.S. use to grow their operations and create jobs. NAJI is doing important work and the NAM is proud to help ensure that manufacturing maintains its global leadership position,” said Brian Raymond, director of technology policy for NAM.
In addition to business owners and associations, industry experts have joined the cause to help bring greater attention to the problem and the need for solutions:
“NAJI will provide a forum to raise awareness of the economic crisis and critical legal and policy issues generated by IT theft. Something is very wrong when our legal system tolerates, without consequence, outright theft of IT by manufacturers. The resulting uneven playing field dilutes incentives for creativity and innovation and puts companies who follow the rule of law at a distinct disadvantage,” said Andrew Popper, professor of law at American University.
Eric Priest, a copyright expert at Oregon Law, echoed Professor Popper’s concerns, “Copyright infringement in emerging markets continues to grow and affect our economy. I look forward to working with NAJI to increase public awareness of this issue and seek innovative solutions.”
- Learn more about us and visit our website: www.NAJI.org
- Hear what NAJI has to say through our Twitter handle: @NAJI
- Get involved through advocacy or as a member of NAJI: http://naji.org/get-involved/
- Read advisory board member Drew Greenblatt’s recent INC column: “Dear China: Stop Stealing My Intellectual Property”
The National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI) is a nonpartisan organization of U.S. businesses and industry experts working together to stop unfair competition from the use of stolen intellectual property (IP), whether it be through piracy, counterfeiting, or trade secret theft. For more information, please visit www.NAJI.org.