World IP Day

Below are excerpts from an April 26 Forbes article noting an open letter from the Online, Property Rights Alliance to WIPO’s General Director urging that WIPO becomes more engaged by fighting worldwide economic abuse of IP protection. The letter is timely. WIPO’s annual commemoration World Intellectual Property Day is fine, but it is no longer enough. Significantly, it is signed by AUTM, signaling its wider engagement in defending the IP bedrock of TT commercialization not only here in the US, but throughout our global Info Age economy. From US patent weakening to international price caps on life science products worldwide, patent protected university TT commercialization capacity is under fire.

Administration’s R&D budget cuts and Industrial Age emphasis on military hardware and mining jobs, SCOTUS  preoccupation with patent trolls and international price caps and other abusive IP curbs on life science products are telling us that congressional pressure (heaven help us ) may be the only way to restrain this new age anti-commercialization conduct. Key excerpts and the letter with their persuasive factoids are immediately below:

“Online, Property Rights Alliance and 54 partner organizations have signed an open letter to WIPO General Director Francis Gurry to call the organization to take greater action in an era where IP rights have never been more at risk. The letter asks WIPO to review the ways IP enhances economic development and access to new products; work with countries to stabilize and grow their IP regimes; support IP as a property rights and a right to enhancing development; and finally, to oppose adoption of policies to the contrary such as the UN High Level Panel report on Access to Medicines.”

“IP rights grow developed and developing economies. Countries with robust IP environments have a GDP per capita 21 times that of countries with the weakest regimes. Currently, IP-intensive industries employ over 30% of the workforces in the U.S. and EU and are responsible for producing 40% of their Gross Domestic Product. There is no reason all countries should not reap the same economic benefits, or contribute to the same task of discovery. Today, more inventions are being developed than ever before, thanks to the adoption of stronger IP regimes that allow innovators to pursue solutions to global challenges. In 2015, a record 2.9 million patents applications were filed, a third from China alone. More than just a product, every new invention provides positive follow-on effects including creating jobs, extending life, saving time, and increasing well-being. Even failed inventions yield useful lessons. IP rights allow inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs to have their original works protected in the marketplace, incentivizing greater investments for greater rewards. Countries with strong IP rights have more full-time researchers, greater investments in R&D, more articles and books published, and greater rates of entrepreneurship. Many low and middle-income nations, the most populated countries, rank poorly in protecting intellectual property rights. This hurts local economies, and the rest of the world is robbed of the immeasurable value of full participation. Their economies are plagued by counterfeiters who peddle rip-offs dangerous to consumers, and IP creators are unable to compete, let alone invest, in such an unfair market “

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