January 14, 2016

IP in Action: Innovators and Tech Policymakers Converge at CES

Recently, GIPC joined over 170,000 people from around the world in Las Vegas to take in some of the incredible new innovations and technologies on display at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). From 8K televisions slightly thicker than a piece of paper, to wearable translation devices that allow you to communicate in a foreign land, to ski goggles that offer “augmented reality,” CES had it all.

And what underpins all that exciting innovation? Intellectual property.

Patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets encourage entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into the remarkable products we saw in Las Vegas because they have the protections necessary to safeguard their ideas. The amazing new technologies on display at CES represent huge investments of time and resources into research and development to bring ideas to market for the benefit of consumers everywhere. IP rights incentivize innovation by offering the hope of realizing a return on these investments – to the ultimate benefit of us all.

To underscore the importance of encouraging innovation, CES hosted a number of tech and innovation policy leaders at this year’s show. Guests included U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, several Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission members, Members of Congress, and dozens of top Congressional staffers working on tech, trade, and IP issues, to name a few.

Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Michelle Lee was also in attendance, marking the first time the show’s 50-year run that the head of the USPTO has attended the industry’s signature event. She said of her visit, “Given the importance of intellectual property, or IP, my visit seems well overdue.”

IP rights are critically important to the innovators at CES and all of us who have come to eagerly anticipate the latest technological advancement, lifesaving medical treatment, or creative content. Because without IP, those innovations may be no more real than a mirage in the Las Vegas desert.

Jared Parks is Director of Advocacy and External Affairs for the Global Intellectual Property Center.

Subscribe for updates from GIPC