Today, April 26, is World Intellectual Property Day, with this year's them being: “Innovation: Improving Lives." The theme focuses on the impact of innovation in our everyday lives. Intellectual property (IP) protection, meaning copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, inspire innovators to create and innovate by affording them protection for their ideas/inventions. This protection inspires and promotes innovation, and, in turn, gets the IP into the hands of the public.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution empowers the Congress to "promote the Process of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." This is commonly referred to as the "Copyright Clause," or the "Patent and Copyright Clause." It is important for us all, especially policymakers, to remember this Constitutional right.
As this World Intellectual Property Day arrives, US policymakers need to keep certain considerations in mind when passing any sorts of regulations relating to IP, both domestically and globally. According to the IP Commission Report, the American economy suffers annual losses between $225 billion and $600 billion from counterfeit goods, pirated software, and theft of trade secrets. Additionally, there is a value of $52 billion in pirated software worldwide in 2015. This all results in lost revenue of $18 billion for the American economy, totaling more than $1.2 trillion in damages from economic espionage and IP piracy since 2013.
Thus, protections worldwide for American IP is a growing concern. American policymakers need to negotiate stronger IP protections for Americans worldwide. These stronger IP protections globally will result in mutual gains and promote global economic growth.
Remember your Constitutionally-guaranteed IP rights on this World Intellectual Property Day. And think about how you can use IP to benefit you and your business.