November 7, 2018

A Look in the Rear-View Mirror: GIPC’s 2018 Driving Innovation Roadshow

The cool fall weather may be rolling in, but the Global Innovation Policy Center is still hot on intellectual property!

Just a few weeks ago, we finished up our Driving Innovation Roadshow, where we traveled throughout the country to meet with lawmakers, small business owners, creators, innovators, and industry thought leaders. And at every stop, there was one resounding theme – IP is vital to long-term economic success.

We found that Members of Congress coast to coast are keen on championing effective IP laws to empower creators and innovators in their districts. No matter the geographic area or political affiliation, these lawmakers recognize how IP protections fuel innovation, spur economic growth, and ensure consumer safety – and we agree! Whether it’s a blockbuster film, a life-saving medication or cutting-edge new software, these are the creations we all want to safeguard and encourage.

Take California, for example. California has the largest economy in the United States and fifth largest in the world. Its robust economy is largely attributed to Hollywood and the tech sector – two industries that are constantly innovating and improving lives – and IP is their lifeblood. On the roadshow, we met with Members of Congress from across the political spectrum, including Reps. Mimi Walters, Judy Chu, and Scott Peters, each of whom understands how critical IP is to the economies, businesses, and jobs in their districts.

The sentiment across the country in North Carolina was no different. Rep. Patrick McHenry noted the importance of IP to driving and protecting the more than $100 billion spent on research and development annually in North Carolina, much of it in the pharmaceutical, aerospace and defense sectors.

In the Midwest, Rep. Peter Roskam and Rep. John Shimkus discussed how stronger IP provisions would help to bolster the Illinois economy – and the need to protect IP in trade agreements.

Today’s global economy is becoming ever-more competitive. Businesses of all sizes rely on their IP – their brands, trade secrets, patents, and copyrights – to innovate, remain competitive, and create jobs. And this summer, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle heard that loud and clear from their constituents.

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