The Governmental Affairs Committee of the US Senates Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Managment held hearings yesterday.
The purpose of the hearing was to review the effectiveness of the federal government’s current efforts to enforce existing intellectual property rights and how current U.S. intellectual property enforcement policies relate to the loss of over two million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Note especially, the testimony of Jeffrey S. Gorman, CEO of the Gorman-Rupp Company (located in Mansfield, OH). These guys have been making pumps since 1933 (when two out of work engineers borrowed $1,500) and the company is one of the great American success stories, as far as Im concerned. Today they have $200 million in annual sales and employ about one thousand people. The point is this: Modern technology makes it especially easy for foreign companies--with the ethics of Attila the Hun--to take one of their pumps and start making counterfeits (or "knock-offs") and turn around and sell them in the U.S. Gormans testimony includes amazing pictures of some of the counterfeit products. All this puts me in a tiger-footed rage!! In this time when people are concerned about the loss of manufacturing jobs, something had better be done about this theft. Gormans recommendations on the last page seem entirely sensible (and modest).