Nearly 230 years ago, the United States federal government granted the very first patent, signed by none other than the cherry-tree-chopping, wood-tooth-sporting George Washington, the first United States President.
Patents were designed to encourage entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and inventors alike to create new things and processes. If people who poured countless hours’ worth of sweat, stress, and elbow grease into new inventions didn’t have protections granted by their respective governments, people would have arguably no motivation behind being inventive and innovative. After all, a lack of intellectual property protection would effectively allow everyone within a state, province, or nation – maybe even the whole wide world – to piggyback on someone else’s production.
Arguably nobody knows more about patents than Kamil Idris, the now-former head cheese – his official title was the Director General, the highest spot within the world-famous organization – of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Although Professor Idris is still a very busy man, he spends most of his working hours as the President of the International Court of Arbitration and Mediation. Recently, Professor Kamil Idris took part in an in-depth interview that covered intellectual property rights and their protection. Check out some of the most important points below.
The strength of a state’s intellectual property reflects the level of economic growth
In today’s well-established capitalistic society, we have more economic activity than ever before in human history. A major driver of the extremely high level of modern economic activity is the presence, trade of, and interest in intellectual property. Humanity’s greatest accomplishments all relate to patents, trademarks, and other forms of intellectual property; the Internet, the technology used to land NASA astronauts on the moon, smartphones, and widely-available motor vehicles, for example.
Countries with well-established legislative infrastructures related to intellectual property, home to bright minds that are also active in being innovative, and governments that firmly support the advancement of everything related to IP are typically those with the highest level of economic activity.
Globalization has changed IP for good
Globalization helps turn the wheels of commerce faster than when countries were more isolated. However, such an interconnected world makes enforcing IP-related laws difficult. Idris believes the TRIPS Agreement is the answer to such variability.