Innovation, invention and creativity. These are among the most important ingredients on which economic growth increasingly depends. To continue to grow, to compete and to deliver products and services to the marketplace, companies are progressively investing in creativity, innovation and other forms of intellectual assets. Under the aegis of Intellectual Property or IP, these assets have become key drivers for creating brand value, jobs and overall business growth.
As economies evolve from traditional agricultural, mineral and low-value manufacturing activities, governments have also been investing in their national capabilities to innovate, create and build up intellectual property. They have increased their investment in university research, incubation centers and public-private R&D projects, and developed better services to help companies develop, register and commercialize trademarks, copyrights and patents.
The intangible nature of intellectual property – and its vulnerability to theft – has also driven many governments to upgrade efforts to protect it. Unfortunately, IP theft, as evidenced by the global proliferation of counterfeit and pirate products, drains revenue and jobs and puts downward pressure on innovation, international trade and investment.