A new bill is about to be officially introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives that would resurrect some unsavory aspects of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that sparked widespread protests last winter.
The bill, which the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up as soon as today, is titled the Intellectual Property Attaché Act (IPAA) and is primarily designed to expand the powers of so-called IP attachés within a new agency inside the Department of Commerce, even to the point of establishing a new Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.
This is a very deliberate shift within the bureaucracy that’s designed to expand the powers of the intellectual property enforcement agents who work within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The primary mission of these new IP attachés would be, according to the bill, “to achieve potential benefit by reducing intellectual property infringement in the United States market and globally.”
One way to interpret this mission? Giving members of the diplomatic corps more powers to enforce intellectual property violations around the world.