Saturday, April 26, 2014 2:01 am | By Lorenzo Montanari
Property Rights Alliance (PRA) celebrates today, April 26th, the Intellectual Property Day. Intellectual property (IP) is one of the foundational pillars to today’s dynamic, innovative global economy. IP rights deserve protection from governing bodies internationally because they drive innovation; ensuring innovators receive a proper return on their investments. Without such protections, innovators lose incentive to constantly create and contribute to the global economy because others can simply profit off the hard work of the innovators and threaten the viability of our largely knowledge based global economy.
IP rights are the driving force behind modern economic growth, creating valuable technology used across industries, improving and streamlining business practices, improve economic productivity, and create millions of jobs. According to the according to the U.S. Department of
Commerce, in the U.S. IP intensive-industries employ over 40 million American workers (with 42% higher wages than non IP intensive industries). While in the European Union (EU), IP intensive-industries employ over 56 million workers and about 39 % of EU economic activity is created by these industries. Additionally IP rights protect consumers as well because they are able to make informed purchases regarding the safety, reliability, and quality of their purchases.
Last but not least, even policy makers are threatening IP rights through the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products. Such policies have been implemented in Australia, last December 2012, and are being considered in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Ireland as a whole. The EU adopted the plain packaging as well. Such policies, as in Australia, fail to curb smoking while simultaneously violate international agreements protecting intellectual property and leading to explosive growth of the black market for counterfeit tobacco and cigarettes.”
Now more than ever the international community must stand up to protect intellectual property rights through legal reforms and encourage local leaders to come together and strengthen global standards because the violation of intellectual property rights is not a victimless crime. Counterfeiting and IP violations inevitably harm the wellbeing of global economy and the individual consumer.
The EU overregulation of Interchange Fees hurts the average card holder and consumers in Europe
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 1:47 pm | By Lorenzo Montanari & Brendan Walsh
Once again the EU Parliament has lost an opportunity to vote in defense of the European consumers. Last week the MEPs voted in favor of credit card payment fee caps, best known as interchange fees.This proposal had been previously endorsed, last February, by MEPs Pablo Zalba Bidegain (Vice-Chair of Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs) and Diogo Feio both from the European People Party (EPP).
Plain Packaging Is Failing. Meanwhile Australia Facing Challenges from 5 Countries in the WTO
Thursday, March 27, 2014 5:03 pm | By Brendan Walsh
Indonesia was recently granted permission by the World Trade Organization to challenge Australia’s plain packaging law, making Indonesia the fifth country granted permission to challenge Australia’s controversial law. Since December of 2012, cigarette packs have been uniform consisting of green packaging, with white labels. However, while attempts by the Australian government to curb the use of cigarettes are noble, the law breaches trade and intellectual property regulations. The issue at hand is not to argue whether or not smoking is harmful to one’s health, but rather how implementing plain packaging is a compromising intellectual property rights protections, threatening sectors of the economy (included but not limited to the tobacco industry), and harmful to consumers’ health.