Archive for April, 2012

Celebrating the Power of Ideas

posted by in Intellectual Property April 25, 2012

The English author H.G. Wells is thought to have said, “Human history is, in essence, the history of ideas.” How right he was considering the visionary innovators who have transformed the world with great ideas. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Johann Gutenberg, plus more modern day icons such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates — to name but a few. It is the achievements of these and many others that we celebrate on World Intellectual Property Day.

Where do we begin to look for what’s next? Today, IP is one of the most important economic assets fueling the digital economy. The legal framework for protecting copyright, patents, and trademarks is a fundamental building block for most developed economies.

What is perhaps more interesting is to consider the growing importance of IP in emerging markets. At a roundtable event in Beijing earlier this month, US Ambassador to China Gary Locke spoke of the growing importance of IP protection to Chinese innovators who are increasingly creating intellectual capital of their own. “Stronger IPR enforcement is essential to protect the work of Chinese writers and musicians, to provide incentives for Chinese firms to invest in research and development, and to help China foster an innovative and prosperous society,” he said. While problems in IP protection in China exist in abundance, IPR is no longer an issue for foreign companies alone. There are growing numbers of Chinese innovators who realize that IPR protection is fundamental to their economic prospects.

It is not just China sitting on the precipice of an IP revolution. Emerging economies as a whole are outpacing mature markets in their rate of growth. In no industry is this shift more prominent than technology, wherein emerging markets took in more than half of the world’s new PC shipments in 2011, and now account for more than half of all PCs in use. With the burgeoning cloud computing market bringing infinitely scalable computing power to businesses and consumers around the world, the foundation is being laid for a new leap forward in the IT revolution. This puts enormous pressure on governments in emerging economies to modernize their copyright and intellectual property laws to keep pace with technological developments.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry says in his World Intellectual Property Day message, “Intellectual property is, by definition, about change, about the new. It is about achieving the transformations that we want to achieve in society.” So while we recognize the significant achievements that have come before; today we also celebrate the promise of new ideas to come. BSA and its member companies will continue to work with governments, policymakers, and organizations to advance practices and policies that encourage and protect future innovation.

More Progress toward Compromise on Information Sharing

posted by in Cybersecurity April 19, 2012

“If your neighbor’s house gets broken into, you’d want to know about it.”

That was how John Landwehr, Vice President for Digital Government Solutions at Adobe Systems, put a fine point on the need for efficient and effective sharing of cyber threat information. He spoke at a packed briefing BSA hosted today on Capitol Hill to help educate House staff on issues involved in cyber legislation now pending in Congress.

Landwehr used the analogy of a home invasion to illustrate what information ought to be shared, with whom, and for what purpose: You would want to know how the break-in occurred so you could take appropriate steps to protect your house from the same type of crime. You would want others in the neighborhood to know, too, so they could (more…)

IP: The Not-So-Secret Sauce in the US Economy

posted by in Intellectual Property April 11, 2012

If there was any doubt, a new report from the Commerce Department makes it abundantly clear that intellectual property is the secret sauce in the US economy, officially contributing roughly one-third of the country’s GDP and more than a quarter of its employment. If you are keeping score, that comes to $5 trillion and 40 million jobs, which pay a significant wage premium over jobs in non-IP-intensive sectors, according to the report. (more…)