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Betting on Innovation at CES 2018

Betting on Innovation at CES 2018

Just like seasoned Vegas gamblers, innovators understand that the biggest gambles return the biggest rewards.

This week at CES, thousands of innovators unveil their latest and greatest emerging tech products:  drones, robots, self-driving vehicles, connected medical devices, and just about any gizmo or gadget you can imagine.

These products are more than just stuff: they represent incredible investments of time and resources. Innovators spend countless hours and dollars to grow an idea into the real-life product we see on the CES show floor.

Fortunately, with the promise of strong IP protections, these investments are well worth it. IP protections incentivize innovative activity by safeguarding a return on investment. IP protections – patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets – give innovators complete ownership of their ideas for a limited time, allowing them to control production and distribution and, ultimately, allowing them to recoup their investments and turn a profit.

Don’t misunderstand: IP protections cannot guarantee the success of a product. Many products will fail. But IP protections give innovators a fair and fighting chance in the marketplace. It’s this potential that drives innovators to deliver net-generation tech.

The relationship between IP protections and innovative activity is well proven. The 2017 IP Index shows that countries with strong IP protection systems see greater access to advanced technology. They also see greater access to venture capital, more significant business and industrial growth, and heightened job creation. Countries with strong IP protection systems nurture healthy, active innovation communities that drive an innovation economy valued in the trillions. It’s clear: with strong IP protections, innovation is a safe bet.

This week at CES, the power of IP protections is on full display. IP is the fuel behind the smart devices, smart homes, and smart cities of tomorrow. Check out this great emerging tech product I found today on the Show Floor – and stay tuned for more CES content to come.

This smart helmet will help keep cyclists safe on the road. It can independently produce automatic turn signals and a deceleration light to signal when you’re slowing down or stopping. It will even alert specified phone contacts and emergency authorities if it detects a fall or an accident.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Cullen is executive director of U.S. intellectual property policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center.