Remarks by AIT Acting Director Robert W. Forden at 2016 International Conference: Best Practices for Stemming Digital Piracy

July 26, 2016 National Chengchi University Taipei, Taiwan


Good morning.

Thank you Vice President Chen. At AIT, we value the strong relationship we have with National Chengchi University and deeply appreciate you opening your university community to us today.

Vice Minister Wang: Congratulations on your new assignment. We have always enjoyed working with you in your capacity as the head of Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Office and we really look forward to continuing that excellent relationship across the full range of economic issues. As you know, intellectual property rights protection touches on many facets of strong economic growth, whether it is patents, copyright, trademarks, trade secrets, or fostering an overall environment for innovation and creativity.

Taiwan is a valuable partner for us in so many of these areas: Taiwan is the number four top international filer of U.S. patents, which is facilitated by a Patent Prosecution Highway agreement.

The United States and Taiwan cooperate across a broad range of issue areas in the digital economy. To further enhance this collaboration, Department of State Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin announced with Taiwan in June 2015 the launch of the Digital Economy Forum. We convened the Digital Economy Forum in Taipei in December with the support of Taiwan’s National Development Council and the U.S. Department of State.

During Assistant Secretary Rivkin’s visit last year to Taipei, he also highlighted our ongoing collaboration with Taiwan in the IP and Innovation Joint Work Plan. These projects continue to grow, and we also look forward to holding a second Digital Economy Forum later this year.

Another valuable mechanism for cooperation is the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, whose Council meetings serve as a forum to raise and resolve issues of mutual concern, including those related to intellectual property rights.

This conference today will explore many of the connections between intellectual property rights protection and economic growth with a particular focus on how we can work together to stem digital piracy. As digital commerce and the possibilities of the internet of things have become ever more important to the US, Taiwan, and global economies, digital piracy has gone from being a niche issue just fifteen years ago to becoming one of the greatest threats to successful commerce today.

The agenda today includes discussions on innovative approaches to this challenge, including bringing together ad networks and payment providers, using both voluntary and legal tools to stop piracy.

With the rise of importance in IPR protection, President Obama and Congress created a new position within the White House early on in his administration to coordinate U.S. government efforts. I am very pleased that Danny Marti, our second ever U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, is able to join us today for this conference. He brings with him both private sector and public service experience that will, I’m sure, be a tremendous resource to the conference participants. This will be an excellent opportunity to discuss best practices that encourage economic growth in both Taiwan and the United States.

Thank you.