Strong intellectual property protection is essential to the economic growth of developing countries, according to a senior official with the World Intellectual Property Association. “It is a myth and complete misunderstanding to think that IP protection is not important. It is relevant to all countries wanting to build up their economy,” stated the WIPO official.
Ensuring strong intellectual property protection also encourages innovation, which is particularly important as it relates to medical innovation. Patients around the world benefit from the development of new medical treatments as well as improvements to existing technologies, products and processes.
Malaysian National News Service – Strong IP System To Boost Knowledge Economy Development
GENEVA, Nov 14 (Bernama) — A strong intellectual property (IP) system not only boosts but forms an essential component of a countrys development of its knowledge-based economy, says a senior official with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
“It is a myth and complete misunderstanding to think that IP protection is not important. It is relevant to all countries wanting to build up their economy,” said Yo Takagi, an executive director with WIPO.
Today’s economic growth is being led by innovation where it has surpassed labour and productivity growth in some countries, he said.
“Knowledge-based international trade in the recent decades has increased and on a global average it has overtaken the trade of resource-based products,” Takagi said during a seminar on IP here for journalists from 25 developing countries and countries in transition.
In the share of exports comprising manufactured products globally by technology, in the last 30 years, middle-tech products have remained in the upper rung, while high-tech products have begun to surpass that of lower tech products and resource-based products, he said.
There is no denying that innovation in all areas has become the driving force of economic growth and with this, the increasing importance of properly placed IP laws which will protect the owners of such properties and rightfully the economic benefits that they will be able to derive from their innovations, Takagi said.
“Twenty-eight years ago, IP was covered by dust, nobody thought of it as an important aspect of economic development. A good IP system will both nurture the growth of intellectual properties and their protection against various infringements,” he said.
An IP is broadly described as an authentic creation, big or small, whether of a complete product or part of product, a technology as well as creative works like designs and writing, and it can be the creation of a company or an individual. It gives the creator of the entity the right to protect the work or entity lawfully, whether through the ownership of a patent, copyright and trademark.
All intellectual properties are economic tools and as such they should be rightfully protected and respected. But in reality, it is not always so.
While there are various international and national laws governing patents, copyrights and trademark, the infringements are wide and many, often going across borders.
The infringements are plenty and the area of IP has remained a major challenge for policy makers as well as legal practitioners in the field amid the growing challenges and technologies thrown in by the new media like the Internet.
Among others, education, establishing national systems of innovation, IP institutions are all factors that will contribute towards using IP as a tool for development and will also enhance a nation’s competitiveness when participating in the global market, Takagi said.
Malaysia has been one of the earliest countries in the Asian region to sign on a WIPO treaty. In 2007, it was among the top 10 developing countries filing for patents with the WIPO.
The origin of WIPO dates back to the late 19th century with the adoption of the first international IP treaty, the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial properties. Today, it is one of the 16 specialised agencies of the United Nations.