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GUEST POST: Using Intellectual Property Rights to Increase Competitiveness
By Hon. Bruce A. Lehman and Mr. Jorge H. Amigo Castañeda, International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI)
Latin America and the Caribbean are finding trouble embracing the increasingly knowledge-based international economy. The lack of public policy on innovation and private sector reliance on foreign technology stunt the region’s growth. One need only look at patent statistics to understand the story. For example, out of the 14,055 patent applications the Mexican Institute for Industrial Property (IMPI) received in 2011, only 1,065 (7.6%) came from Mexicans. The United States accounted for over five times more (6,182 or 44.0%), and Germany totaled (1,252 or 8.9%).
But the potential is there. Intellectual property rights (IPRs) can help Latin American and Caribbean countries capture and commercialize local creations and inventions and ensure the dissemination of knowledge. With nearly 25 years of experience leading national patent offices between the two of us, we present six actions centered on IPRs that the region can take to boost competitiveness.
Following these suggestions will not lead to overnight success. Changing attitudes and building capacity requires patience and dedication. The earlier Latin America and the Caribbean take IPRs seriously, however, the sooner they will see the economic benefits that come with their protection.
This piece was originally prepared for the OAS Signals of Competitiveness Report of the Americas 2012. To view the full report, please click here.
About the authors: Hon. Bruce A. Lehman is the Chairman and President of IIPI. He served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks under President Clinton. Mr. Jorge H. Amigo Castañeda is IIPI’s Vice-Chairman. He served as Director-General of the Mexican Institute for Industrial Property (IMPI) from 1994-2011.
About IIPI: Founded by Hon. Bruce A. Lehman in 1998, IIPI is a nonprofit international development organization and think thank devoted to helping developing countries use IPRs to create jobs and increase competitiveness. For more information visit iipi.org.