The Role of IP in Promoting Economic Growth through Innovation
It has never been more important to foster the creation and exploitation of intellectual property rights. They will play a vital role in helping the world through the current downturn
By Ronald Zink
In these difficult economic times, companies and governments increasingly are looking to information and communications technologies (ICT), green technologies and other innovative goods and services to keep their economies productive and competitive.
All of these industries, of course, rely on intellectual property protection – patents, copyrights, trademarks and similar rights –to fund research, generate returns on investment and continue the cycle of innovation and creativity. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s 27th February speech trumpeted the importance of innovation and IP as a tonic for the economy: “[I]t is vital that our portfolio of early-stage, high-value businesses survive the downturn to secure our long-term future competitive advantage. [W]e must act so we do not lose the value which has been created in the ideas and intellectual property arising from the sustained investment in research over the past 10 years.” Just a day earlier, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Kamal Nath had mentioned the country’s 2005 Patents Act amendments in a list of steps taken to “give a fresh impetus to India’s trade and growth story”.It is therefore timely to review the many ways in which intellectual property and the innovation that IP supports promote economic growth and competitiveness. This article summarises a number of studies, statistics and industry developments of the past few years as to how IP promotes healthy economic activity, including benefits to the companies engaged in innovation, benefits to the wider economy, benefits to collaboration and benefits for public research.
[This is an excerpt from the publication released by WIPO called The Role of IP in Promoting Economic Growth through Innovation. To read the complete publication, please visit the Download menu to get a copy]