PRA Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day

On April 26, innovators and creators across the globe recognize World Intellectual Property day, and the important contribution of IP to the innovative global economy. IP rights are the driving force behind modern economic growth, creating valuable technology used across all industries, improving and streamlining business practices, increasing economic productivity, and creating millions of jobs. World IP day is a time to congratulate the work of all stakeholders committed to strengthening this vital protection, and recognizing the contribution of innovators and creators across the planet.

This year, the contribution of music and the importance of strong copyright protections will be highlighted. Each year, artists from across the world produce numerous creative works that enrich the culture of their country, and the world.

The International Property Rights Index, compiled annually by the Property Rights Alliance ranks 97 countries on three important property rights indicators, including “Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).” IPR is then divided into three items: “Protection of Intellectual Property Rights”, “Patent Protection”, and “Copyright Piracy.” In fact, the International Property Rights Index has found positive correlations between strong property rights and household income e, GDP and foreign direct investment. Most notably, countries with strong property rights have up to 13 times stronger GDP than countries with weak property rights.

Unfortunately, policy makers are threatening IP rights through the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products. Such policies were first implemented in Australia in December 2012. So far in 2015 this policy has been implemented in Ireland and the United Kingdom and us being considered in New Zealand, France, and Norway.  These policies have failed to curb smoking, have violated international agreements protecting intellectual property and have led to explosive growth of the black market for counterfeit tobacco and cigarettes.

Without sufficient protections for IP, innovators lose the incentive to create and contribute to the global economy because others can simply profit off the hard work of these innovators which threatens the viability of our largely knowledge based global economy. World IP day marks a time to celebrate the contributions of IP to innovation, while also remembering that more must be done to promote and protect the works of entrepreneurs and creators.