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State of Intellectual Property
By Mark Elliot
The creative and scientific discovery process often yields new and exciting ideas, but intellectual property (IP) is the driver that brings them to life, and turns ideas into innovations. IP-driven innovation delivers job creation, new solutions to the world’s problems, from health care and the environment, to ensuring consumers have safe access to a dizzying array of new content and products.
As we celebrate World IP Day, it is worthwhile to review advancements made over the past year and the current “state of intellectual property.” The theme of World IP Day this year, Creativity: The Next Generation, puts into perspective how creativity and innovation will lead the next generation into the future. But how is that creativity and intellectual property being treated in 2013?
The impact of IP has expanded significantly in the modern economy. While there are positive movements forward, much work remains to be done.
Over the last year, while many governments are seeking to incentivize innovation and investment in creative industries, some nations have taken steps in the wrong direction. Specifically, in GIPC’s recent study, GIPC International IP Index: Measuring Momentum, research showed that the last year has produced “setbacks in protecting, implementing, and enforcing IP rights” in several important areas around the world. These challenges to innovative thinking and knowledge economies include:
Fortunately, many domestic and international efforts have provided for more security of IP rights, and will continue to generate innovations and attract investment in the economies that follow these principles:
Today, on World IP Day, it is important to consider the work still before us.
While the current economic situation may be on the rebound, governments have the power to harness and amplify the forward-movement by supporting pro-innovation policies. These must include securing modern robust IP rules and effective enforcement measures. Domestically, the United States has the opportunity to lead by example and strengthen dedicated resources and funding for enforcement efforts. Additionally, our economic progress is intrinsically tied to the interactions with our trading partners, particularly in international agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.
In the year ahead, GIPC looks forward to continuing to lead a worldwide effort to protect the IP rights that are essential to creating jobs, advancing economic growth, and improving the lives of people across the globe.
Mark Elliot is the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center.