Protecting IP Encourages Global Innovation

Protecting IP Encourages Global Innovation

01.24.13 | By Mark Grayson

Intellectual property spurs global economies by promoting innovation, and protecting its integrity is critical. With the Global Intellectual Property Convention (GIPC), the world's largest intellectual property rights conference, convening in Bangalore, India from January 23 - 30, addressing the issue's significance is essential.

As more than 340 speakers from 30 countries and variety of industries come together, it is important to emphasize that without robust, global protection of intellectual property and a comprehensive enforcement framework, research and development and innovation could be stifled. This is especially disturbing for the pharmaceutical industry because it means that life-saving and life-enhancing medicines may not come to fruition, creating an environment that is vulnerable to public health and safety dangers for patients around the world.

Countries like India have erected barriers that make it increasingly difficult for U.S. pharmaceutical companies to compete globally by enacting policies that favor domestic companies and undermine IP rights. As a compelling report by the Global Intellectual Property Center noted, India ranked last because it does not apply or enforce its counterfeit and copyright laws and issued compulsory licenses that stripped products of their patents for domestic industrial purposes.

Addressing these discriminatory policies should be a key priority for U.S. government officials, and we hope that U.S.-based conference attendees will take the time to emphasize the importance of protecting intellectual property as part of a broader dialogue.

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