The Role of Intellectual Property in Fostering Innovation
Intellectual Property (IP) serves as a catalyst for innovation. The exclusive right to prevent others from replicating patented inventions, copyrighted original works, and trademarked brands and logos incentivizes innovators to invest their time and resources.
The Impact of IP on Innovation Economy
In recent decades, the significance of IP has grown, evident in the increasing portion of company value derived from intangibles and the use of IP as a crucial tool in global competition. Despite its importance, public understanding of how IP drives our innovation economy remains inadequate.
Evolution of IP Awareness
Awareness of IP has risen over the years, thanks to the proliferation of free newsletters, social media, and other public channels. However, mere awareness does not equate to understanding. The gap between IP awareness and genuine IP proficiency continues to widen.
Challenges in Understanding IP
IP is inherently complex, and misconceptions are exacerbated by the confusing use of terminology and lack of clarity in media references. Public debates on IP often contribute to misinformation, with extreme positions undermining the value of the IP system.
Crucial Principles for IP Understanding
Public trust in the IP system is crucial. To foster a deeper understanding, we must adhere to fundamental principles. Respecting the IP of others is essential for garnering respect for our own IP. Constructive dialogue, rather than sweeping criticisms, is necessary for improving the IP infrastructure without compromising its integrity.
Promoting IP Literacy
The complexity of IP should not deter efforts to enhance public understanding. Those knowledgeable about IP have a responsibility to bridge the gap, dispel confusion, and promote an appreciation for the value of IP. The stakes are high, involving not only our innovation economy but also national security and overall quality of life.
Conclusion: Advocating for IP Appreciation
In conclusion, the IP system plays a pivotal role in driving innovation, economic growth, and competitiveness, underscoring the need for expert guidance and protection. Advocating for a better understanding of IP is essential for sustaining our progress, a sentiment echoed by Manny Schecter, a prominent figure in the field. His keynote presentation at the IP Awareness Summit highlighted the crucial role of Intellectual Property Law Firms in fostering IP education, appreciation, and robust protection strategies for businesses and innovators alike.
About the Author:
Manny Schecter is a member of the boards of directors of the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), the IPO Education Foundation (where he serves as president), and Allied Security Trust.
Note: This article is based on his keynote presentation at the IP Awareness Summit, held by the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding at the Columbia University School of Journalism.