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In late June of this year, the Safeguarding American Innovation Act was introduced to Congress with the charge to protect intellectual property from theft–specifically, international theft. 

The proposal comes after an investigation that tracked American tax-payer money for a year, highlighting China’s involvement in a scheme to recruit U.S.-based scientists to siphon research and expertise for economic and military use. 

The Safeguarding American Innovation Act, recently amended and approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in late July, intends to fortify the “security and integrity of the United States scientific and research enterprise.” 

Formed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the document addresses current loopholes in federal research funding processes, in addition to strengthening Department of Education foreign gift reporting protocols. Not only does the directive intend to thwart theft, but also implement criminal penalties, deny applicable visas, and increase disclosure requirements. 

Senator Chris Coons voiced that in order to effectively compete with China, it is imperative that the United States strictly governs and protects American research and innovation. As of late, the act has received much support and praise, aside from some officials in the education sector that are concerned with its impact on foreign relations.  

The bottom-line is that the Safeguarding American Innovation Act would protect U.S. research from international theft, cracking down on current tactics and penalizing those involved in China’s ill-placed recruitment plans. 

Until next time, I’m Francine D. Ward, Intellectual Property attorney, keeping you up-to-date on how your hard-earned tax dollars are being protected. 

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Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker

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