Report Highlights Importance of Intellectual Property Protections

Report Highlights Importance of Intellectual Property Protections

05.23.13 | By Jay Taylor

With TPP, Indian and other IP infringement and innovation issues shaping international headlines in recent weeks, IP is increasingly being recognized as a central driver of growth, development and access to medicines. A report released today by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property reinforces IP's critical importance: hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of U.S. jobs are lost every year as a result of its theft, with direct implications for R&D investment and economic growth in the U.S. and worldwide.
While some emerging economies ignore intellectual property rights in an attempt to fast-track economic modernization, it’s clear that this approach leaves all parties worse off. Sectors ranging from biopharmaceutical to energy to heavy-duty manufacturing and high-tech depend on IP to cultivate innovation. In our industry, IP is essential to the development of life-saving treatments and medicines. On average, companies invest a billion dollars and more than a decade of research and development to bring a new drug to market. Without adequate IP protections, bad actors can simply profit off of these new drugs, avoiding the risk and investment of the research and development process.
Nowhere is this more apparent today than in India, where the government has helped create a deteriorating innovation environment at the expense of patients, U.S. workers and the development of medicines. Today’s report serves as a reminder that it is in the best interest of every nation to protect IP through strong public policies and standards that align with the rest of the world.
For the U.S., our opportunity is a unique one: our sector is on the cusp of new medical breakthroughs that will positively impact millions of patients; our broader economy is recovering but more remains to be done, and the Obama administration has prioritized trade issues as part of its second term agenda.

All of this matches well with a key finding of the report: U.S. policymakers can and should do more to prioritize IP through strong actions.
Let’s seize the moment and ensure that we are utilizing every means at our fingertips – research, innovation and collaboration, all aligned with concrete public policies – to advance meaningful IP standards. Millions of patients will be better off as a result.


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