Global Agenda Council on the Intellectual Property System 2012-2013
Intellectual property (IP) is about promoting progress and innovation. The global IP system should be seen as a tool to regulate and facilitate trade, information and knowledge in innovative and creative goods and services.
While intellectual property may seem like a foreign concept to many, the fruits of IP are everywhere; consider mobile phones, cars, music, medicine and products bought in a supermarket. The knowledge and human creativity embodied by the IP in these products makes the modern world possible.
IP rights do not simply benefit creators, but rather society as a whole. In today’s interconnected knowledge-centric society, the economic stakes of an appropriate IP framework are high. Intellectual property enables greater investment in products and services to improve society, including life-saving vaccines and medicines, or high-yield, drought-resistant crops that increase the world's food supply. By leveraging the IP system for social and economic growth, society will benefit from a wider base of knowledge, increased investment in research and development (R&D), broader support of creative arts, greater access to open markets, better consumer protection and greater accessibility to IP benefits.
However, the IP system does not always function smoothly; it is not a single global system, but rather a patchwork of systems created within each country. This creates many challenges, including high costs, uncertainty in legal rights, inconsistencies between systems, unfair competition, enforcement challenges across borders and the lack of access to IP protection.
Given the disorder in the global economy, the IP system is more important than ever in providing the framework to foster new products and cultivate new inventions that are instrumental in creating the next generation of jobs, investments and growth.
- The three main types of IP are patents, trademarks and copyrights: patents cover new inventions and technology; trademarks protect brand names and symbols used in commerce; copyrights cover creative works like books, music and movies.
- International patent filings under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)-administered Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) set a record in 2011 with 181,900 patent applications, a 10.7% increase from 2010 and the fastest growth since 2005. China, Japan and the United States accounted for 82% of total growth.
- An ongoing geographic shift exists in the use of the PCT system, from North America and Europe towards Asia. Applications from Asia accounted for 38.8% of total applications in 2011, while those originating from Europe and North America accounted for 30.9% and 28.3% respectively. China experienced the fastest-growing rise of patent applications, with a 33% increase in 2011.
“Think of intellectual property as a balancing mechanism for all of the often competing rights and equities that occur in and around the act of creation or innovation. That, I think, is the mission in life of intellectual property.”
Francis Gurry, Director-General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland
“The power to innovate is the power to lead; by design and by solution. IP rights empower us to continuously build upon human knowledge, raising the collective prospects for all corners of the world.”
David Kappos, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, USA
“A well-functioning intellectual property system provides the potential for technology to profoundly improve the lives of the poor and marginalized all over the world.”
James Moody, Co-Chair, Global Access In Action, Australia
Vision2030 Short Film
Vision 2030: Creating the World’s IP System of the Future
World Intellectual Property Organisation Resources
Top 10 Innovative National Policy Measures to Promote Intellectual Property Creation and its Commercialization
World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly
1-9 October 2012
Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) Global Technology Impact Forum & Invent for Humanity
20-22 January 2013
To ensure that the intellectual property system achieves its full potential in promoting progress and innovation, the Council on the Intellectual Property System developed two main initiatives during the course of the 2011-12 term.
To understand what the intellectual property system will look like in 2030, the Council developed both a report and a video with its vision for the future of the IP system, explaining what IP is, why it matters, the challenges and benefits, and finally what an ideal IP system would look like.
While it is obvious how the IP system can benefit businesses and governments, the Council believes that the IP system can also benefit the poor and marginalized. To promote this issue, the Council commissioned a survey of potential mechanisms that offer incentives to IP rights holders to address humanitarian problems.
This term, the Council will focus on:
- Vision 2030: The Council will continue to promote the vision of long-term system IP solutions. It will develop two initiatives, focusing on Cross Border Friction & Policy Responses and IP Fundamentals.
- IP and the Creative Economy: The Council will develop a high level statement of principles exposing what the creative economy should ideally look like. The Council also plans to develop an initiative on Global Creative Rights Management.
- IP for the Poor and Marginalized: The Council plans to finalize, launch and promote its survey on IP for the poor and marginalized. It will launch a pilot pro-bono assistance programme in an appropriate country. Finally, the Council will undertake research on the informal economy to determine whether there is scope for a larger project within the two-year term.
Council Manager: Tiffany Misrahi, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Forum Lead: Martina Gmur, Senior Director, Head, Global Agenda Councils, firstname.lastname@example.org
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