Protecting Intellectual Property and the Nation’s Economic Security

Vol. 6 No. 5

By

Colonel Reggie Ash is a U.S.  Air Force Cyber Officer and a 2013 graduate of the Eisenhower School at National Defense University. He currently serves as the Senior Military Advisor in the European and Eurasian Affairs Bureau at the State Department. This summer he is projected to take command of the 21 Mission Support Group at Peterson AFB, Colorado.

Intellectual property is a driving force behind the U.S. economy. Intellectual property refers to the inventions, ideas, designs, and creations that are protected by U.S. law. Even the country’s founding fathers recognized the importance of intellectual property and provided for its protection in the Constitution. Article I of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”1 In the Federalist papers, James Madison explained that maintaining the rights of individuals to their writings and inventions was a “public good.”2 The public good from intellectual property is increasingly threatened at great cost to the U.S. economy. The United States must stem the loss of intellectual property before the lost value to the economy leads to irreparable harm to national security.

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