On World IP Day, There is more Work to be Done!

By Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity

HAPPY #worldIPday from your friends at the Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity!!

Every April 26 we commemorate World Intellectual Property Day to highlight the benefits provided by IP. Because of IP, entrepreneurs, thinkers, creators, and doers are able to innovate and create in the globalized market of ideas and products. This commemoration was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization member states. There are now 185 member countries dedicated to facilitating engagement between governments, industry, and the general public to support and safeguard IP.

Since we observed #worldIPday 2016, we have experienced a challenging, but fruitful, orbit around the sun. Global piracy and counterfeiting has more than doubled since 2008, to $461 billion annually. Here in the US, IP theft amounts to a loss of $300 billion each year while over 74% of our exports, equaling $1 trillion, are from IP-intensive industries. The withdrawal of US participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and uncertainty of NAFTA’s future are also cause for concern.

While IP has faced some challenges, there are also victories to highlight. The U.S., UK, Japan, and EU countries have continued to lead on issues of global IP. China, Pakistan, the UAE, and Sweden have introduced new enforcement regimes and IP-specific courts to better combat counterfeiting and piracy. A number of multilateral and bilateral FTAs were signed, including the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, which increases IP protections in the fields of life sciences, online content that is copyrighted, and enforcement against IP theft. The governments of South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan began reviews of domestic IP laws in order to keep abreast of changes and challenges in IP policy. Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam have all signed Patent Prosecution Highway agreements to leverage international partnerships to further IP.

In the face of setbacks, IP has also celebrated some international successes to further codify international IP standards. Moving forward, we must continue to work toward a strengthened, standard, codified, enforceable IP regime to protect global innovators, creators, and doers.

Happy #worldIPday!!

Ainsley Shea