Property Rights Alliance Celebrates World IP Day
Apr 26, 2018
Property Rights Alliance is proud to join advocacy and consumer groups around the world in celebrating World IP Day 2018. Designated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World IP Day is an important moment to recognize the vital role that intellectual property plays in society. In particular, its importance in fostering innovation, rewarding human creativity, and fostering economic growth. This year, we especially recognize the role of women in IP, and salute their contributions to the developments that have shaped and helped grow society. Today, Property Rights Alliance has launched an open letter signed by an international coalition of 71 think tanks and associations addressed to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Director General Dr. Francis Gurry.
As noted by the letter:
“This year’s theme, Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity, is particularly relevant to our organizations. Intellectual property has played an important role throughout history in advancing the rights and liberties of women worldwide. We remain committed to supporting women in innovation—as all of humanity benefits from the incredible discoveries that flow from strong IP rights.” […] We call on WIPO to take action. We ask that WIPO, 1) review the ways that IP enhances economic growth and development; 2) work with countries to enhance their IP regimes and protections; and 3) support IP as a property right that is necessary for enhancing human welfare and achieving the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
In many parts of the world, women are not treated equally to men. This discrimination can come in the form of owning land, obtaining an inheritance, or having the ability to keep property after a divorce. Stronger intellectual property rights can help alleviate this discrepancy. Statistics have shown that countries with stronger IP regimes tend to have greater overall gender equality.
During today’s celebration of IP, we must not forget the grave threat that is posed by infringements on these human rights. It is estimated that 2.5% of global trade is now in counterfeit goods. These goods are not only infringing on rights, but can serious health effects to consumers when mistaken for genuine products.
This growing trade can have disastrous effects for women, particularly in developing countries. When rights aren’t secure, investment into these nations is not reaching its full potential due to rights abuses that rob companies of sales. This lack of investment dampens economic growth, halting the progress needed to address key issues such as women’s education, high infant mortality rates, and families living in poverty.
By promoting stronger intellectual property protections in these developing nations and around the world, governments can restore economic incentives to fully invest in these nations. Economic growth is the key component of lifting communities out of poverty, a key for women in the developing world. This IP Day let us continue to promote strong intellectual property rights, acknowledging their effect to drastically change the world for the better.