GIPC Hosts Young Leaders Forum

Millennials mean business.

A survey published by EY and Economic Innovation Group recently estimated that 62 percent of millennials have considered starting their own business. Perhaps even more revealing, some 72% of millennials feel that entrepreneurship is “essential” for economic growth and job creation.

As more and more millennials set out to incubate startups and small businesses, it’s important that a healthy innovation ecosystem is in place.

And a healthy innovation ecosystem begins with a clear, strong intellectual property policy (IP) framework.

This week, more than 50 D.C.-area interns joined GIPC for the Young Leaders Forum to discuss the relationship between innovation and IP and to consider relevant policy issues and opportunities from the perspective of the millennial generation.

Interns eagerly connected robust IP protections to a host of socioeconomic benefits important to millennial businesses and consumers alike: increased cybersecurity, consumer confidence and safety, and even better access to medical innovation.

Interns also reflected upon the damage IP infringement can have on millennial businesses and consumers. Counterfeit sneakers steal valuable jobs and instead propel exploited labor. Counterfeit airbags explode, sometimes fatally injuring drivers and passengers. Pirated movies hurt studios, making the risk of investment even more severe.

See what D.C.’s interns had to say about the Young Leaders Forum.

Following discussion, 68% of interns said they were more likely to consider IP when making future purchases. 74% of interns believed IP infringement to be “a very big problem which affects everyone.”

So how can millennials embrace the benefits of IP and guard against the consequences of IP infringement?

Interns seemed to agree on one idea: the implementation of a more streamlined patent, copyright, and trademark registration system. Is a global registration system something we should expect from the millennial generation?

Interns were similarly interested in a stronger emphasis on education surrounding IP protections and better-directed enforcement techniques.

With increased (#Millennial) engagement, Washington will certainly see positive additions to the IP policy patchwork.

Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.

The millennial generation is the future of business, the future of innovation, and the future of IP policy.

And there’s no doubt the millennial impact is a force to be reckoned with.

Analese Bridges is an IP policy intern for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center. She studies Political Science at Duke University. Carmen Zhu is also an IP policy intern for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center. She studies Law and Commerce at the University of Sydney.


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