We the IPeople: When 27 Words Translate into 40 Million Jobs

By Brian Noyes (Originally posted on Free Enterprise)

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

– U.S. Constitution: Article 1, Section 8

Who would have thought that 27 words penned by our Founding Fathers 226 years ago would have translated into 40 million jobs? Or that those 27 words would serve as the lynchpin for our economy, supplying nearly two-thirds of exports and more than one-third of GDP? Or that those 27 words would provide a foundation for 72 of the most diverse and innovative industries known to man?

The framers of the Constitution proved that you don’t need a 9,000-page omnibus bill to kick off an economy or make a country great. With the masterful stroke of a pen, they articulated the inalienable rights of innovators, scientists, and creators to their intellectual property. They also affirmed the inherent concept that this protection is part and parcel to progress.

Because the authors of our Constitution had the forethought to include 27 key words more than two centuries ago, the tech entrepreneurs, artistic visionaries, and at-home inventors of today are not only thriving, but driving the U.S. economy. The rights to intellectual property are just as important as they were in George Washington’s day.

Commemorating Constitution Day is about celebrating the foundation of our democracy. With continued respect for its guiding principles, we have the ability to build a vibrant and robust future, with endless possibilities—just as this country’s leaders have done successfully for the last two centuries. They’re going to help scientists find a cure for cancer. They’re going to find a solution to energy dependence or climate change. They’re going to supply millions upon millions of jobs both here and around the world.

Last week, the Property Rights Alliance ranked the United States 17th on its annual index of property rights. However, as the Daily Caller noted, our robust IP rights system is what saved us from sinking even lower:

The United States barely edged into the first quintile, immediately beneath Hong Kong, Japan and Germany, and just above Belgium. Most of that was due to America’s tough protections for intellectual property, second only to Finland’s.

As much as IP was part of our past, it will be even more so in our future. Copyrights, patents, and trademarks embody the rights instilled to all of us, from basement artists to Fortune 500 companies, to pursue risk, innovation, and the American dream.

How are you celebrating Constitution Day? How is intellectual property important to you or your business? Head over to Twitter to join the #WeTheIPeople conversation with @globalipcenter.

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