The significance of impending defense sector reform was on display last week as President Obama placed the matter at the head of his 2012 agenda. According to Bloomberg, the president's statements to reporters seem to suggest that intellectual property protection may be an increasingly large component of national security strategy moving forward.
Not surprisingly, military budget cuts and Iran's nuclear ambitions generated the majority of focus from government officials, but the threat posed by China's IP policies was broached on more than one occasion.
According to Bloomberg, there could be several unfortunate diplomatic and economic consequences if the two countries continue to disagree on how intellectual assets should be managed in a globalized society. The president announced in November that the United States would be willing to "expand trade and military cooperation with Asia-Pacific" nations that held a similar skepticism for Chinese IP policy.
The impetus for this increased awareness of the intersection between intellectual assets and defense strategy may have come late last year with a report from the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive that labeled China as a leading thief of American IP. The report estimated that as much as $400 billion in U.S.-based research and development investment may have been compromised by targeted attacks from cybercriminals seeking public and private sector IP.