Sens. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, and Chris Coons, D-Delaware, were announced as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property on Feb. 7.

Jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property includes the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Copyright Office and oversight of the functions of the federal government as they relate to intellectual property, patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets.

“The U.S. is the most innovative country on the planet. To stay at the top, inventors must be supported by strong intellectual property laws that encourage and reward research and development and that penalize and deter IP theft,” said Coons. “The founders understood this, and that’s why they specifically empowered Congress in the Constitution to create a nationwide patent system to — as they put it — ‘promote the progress.’ The U.S. needs to better protect innovation — the lifeblood of our economy — and this subcommittee will provide an important forum for addressing these critical policy issues. I look forward to working with Chairman Tillis to improve and clarify U.S. patent law, celebrate inventions that improve Americans’ lives and promote global protection of IP.”