Intellectual Property

ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap 2020

  • 16 November 2020

This 14th edition of the Roadmap is a reference guide on intellectual property issues. From key developments for business managers, to the current state of policy debates for policymakers, the ICC IP Roadmap benefits from the expertise of over 100 IP specialists.

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John W.H. Denton AOSecretary General, International Chamber of Commerce

With innovation and creativity serving as silver linings in this challenging period for business, ICC’s 2020 Roadmap brings a wealth of knowledge on rapidly evolving IP systems.

Ingrid BaeleICC IP Commission Chair, Director IP Services, Deloitte Belgium (Belgium)

By providing a concise overview of IP developments worldwide, the IP Roadmap is a valuable information resource for companies and policy makers.

Mathias KarlhuberICC IP Roadmap Chair, Patent Attorney, Cohausz & Florack (Germany)

The IP Roadmap is a must-have for anyone interested in IP – from business leaders, journalists, policymakers to IP professionals and students.

Richard PfohlICC IP Commission Copyright Rapporteur, General Counsel, Music Canada (Canada)

IP is a key business driver of today’s digital economy, and the IP Roadmap provides clear, 21st century rules of the road.

Sandra LeisttPartner, Dannemann, Siemsen, Bigler & Ipanema Moreira (Brazil)

Artificial intelligence, Data and IP, and an improved focus on environmental issues are welcomed additions to the Roadmap.

Oliver HuICC IP Commission Regional Ambassador for China, Chief IP Counsel, ZTE Corporation (China)

In the world of intellectual properties, the ICC IP Roadmap can be the beacon and path to navigate enterprises in their global exploration.

James PooleyA professional Law Corporation (USA)

Moving the global economy at the speed of innovation requires a careful, detailed plan pointing the way. The IP Roadmap will help to guide us.

Jenni LukanderPresident Nokia Technologies

The IP Roadmap is very useful. It provides global coverage of all IP aspects for companies of all sizes.

Philippe LanetPatent Licensing Director, Deputy Head of Licensing, Orange (France)

The IP Roadmap, developed by IP experts from law firms and the industry, provides an excellent and unique global reference guide by covering all aspects of IP in simple, non-legalistic language.

Manisha DesaiAssociate General Patent Counsel, Intellectual Property Department, UCB Biopharma (Belgium)

The IP Roadmap provides an excellent global reference guide by covering all aspects of IP in simple, non-legalistic language.

Stefan Dittmer Partner, Co-Head Intellectual Property and Technology in Germany, Dentons

Created by 80+ experienced contributors from across the world, the ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap is a unique reference for businesses interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the current global IP landscape and its development.


What is new in the ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap?

This 14th edition of the Roadmap is a reference guide on intellectual property issues. From key developments for business managers, to the current state of policy debates for policymakers, the ICC IP Roadmap benefits from the expertise of over 100 IP specialists.

Key changes to this edition include:

Updated content

on new debates on Patents, Copyright, Trademarks, and other IP rights

Artificial intelligence

and its implications for IP rights and business strategies

Counterfeiting and piracy

are met with new measures to protect businesses

Sustainability and climate change

are more central than ever to IP policy discussions

Improved navigation

with each section including current debates and future perspectives for each topic.

Creating value and smart decision-making

In today’s highly competitive commercial environment, effectively managing IP assets has never been more important. IP law has long been linked to the commercial strategies of companies, which has led to the development of elaborate IP management strategies and sector-specific licensing practices over the years.

Decision-makers from large corporations in developed economies to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing economies need to be made aware of the benefits associated with patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of IP rights. By understanding the basics of IP law, businesses of all sizes can profit from value creation and ensure that they receive a return on investment for their IP management strategies.

The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 provides answers to the following questions posed by business leaders concerning value creation:

  • How can I protect my intellectual property?
  • How valuable is intellectual property?
  • What is intellectual property management?
  • What are the basics of IP law?

From Patents to Copyrights, and from Trademarks to Designs

IP is an area of law in expansion, with new discussions, new rights, and new implications for businesses worldwide. The digital economy has challenged foundations of patent and copyright law, and at the same time, created new possibilities for trademark owners. In recent years, the scope of IP law has continued to increase and discussions concerning indigenous and community rights have become more relevant.

The licensing of IP rights continues to grow in importance in business strategies, as a key channel for the transfer of technology and information, and the dissemination of creative works. However, IP licensing faces challenges especially the absence of clear, uniformly accepted standards across legal jurisdictions. In the context of IP agreements involving parties from different countries, it is critical for business leaders to check local laws, which could impact the implementation of IP licensing agreements.

The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 outlines current and future discussions on all major areas of intellectual property, including considerations for licensing agreements.

  • Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Designs.
  • Information products and data
  • Know how/trade secrets
  • Licensing of IP assets and dispute resolution

Innovation and Sustainable Development

In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, the ICC IP Roadmap 2020 examines how IP can serve as a catalyst for sustainable development. By its very nature, IP inspires companies, business leaders, and individuals to innovate and create. Whether it’s a brand, technology, design, or creative content, IP rights encourage international research and development, collaboration, and partnerships, which build local capacity and transfer knowledge across borders.

To encourage innovation, it’s essential that businesses are provided with supportive and coherent policy environments that nurture innovation ecosystems and build the confidence necessary for investments in creative activity.

The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 explores the role of IP systems in advancing the SDGs, including:

  • How can intellectual property systems address climate change?
  • How do access and benefit sharing (ABS) laws impact IP systems?
  • What role can patents play in the development and deployment of clean technology?
  • Can IP systems improve the dissemination and availability of clean energy?

Sustainable Development

The IP system supporting technology transfer, innovation, and SDG No. 13.


IP rights as a positive force for effective climate policy implementation.


Growing awareness of the importance of biological diversity with new treaties signed.

Protecting businesses from counterfeiting and piracy

The protection of copyright and related rights takes place within a framework of complex legal, economic, and social issues.

New ways of facilitating inexpensive and instantaneous reproduction, distribution, performance, and display of works and other subject matter have created great opportunities and challenges for rightsholders, distributors and consumers. While e-commerce platforms have made logistics chains more complex and valuable, they pose risks to patent and trademark owners.

This widening participation from different industries and sectors raises the need for all IP rights holders to have an acute awareness of the risks of counterfeiting and piracy.

The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 addresses several of the opportunities and challenges created by the changing IP landscape. The ICC Commission on Intellectual Property has worked together with ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) to provide a industry and policy perspective of these issues.

What’s inside?

The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 provides an overview of key notions and concrete definitions for easy use by business leaders and policymakers.

  • What is the difference between designs, trademarks, and patents?
  • For how long are patents protected?
  • What works are protected by copyright?
  • Who benefits from IP protection?

The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 includes detailed information of current debates for each type of intellectual property right. From trademarks to geographical indications, and from plant breeder’s rights to designs.

  • Patent quality and patentability of new uses
  • Copyright and artificial intelligence
  • Domain names and the GDPR
  • Use of trademarks on packaging

The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 explains how businesses can better utilise IP rights in their commercial strategies.

  • How to have a good licensing strategy?
  • How do IP assets impact a company’s market valuation?
  • What are the basics of patent standards?
  • How to make decisions on IP management?

Counterfeiting and piracy incidents continue to affect businesses worldwide, the ICC IP Roadmap 2020 presents the state of these issues and some of the legal, economic, and technical solutions to ensure the protection of IP.

  • How does counterfeiting affect businesses?
  • Has e-Commerce improved detection of counterfeits?
  • How does BASCAP help businesses?

As business continues to constructively raise its climate ambition, the ICC IP Roadmap 2020 considers how IP systems can protect biological diversity, address climate change, and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

  • IP as a source of sustainable innovation
  • How can IP serve in conserving biodiversity?
  • Climate change policies and IP issues

About the ICC IP Roadmap

The ICC IP Roadmap is the flagship publication of the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property.

Initially published in 2000, the ICC IP Roadmap has had thirteen successive editions, with the previous edition published in 2017. The IP Roadmap has in the past been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish, among other languages.

The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 involved contributions from over 100 IP experts from around the world and will be translated into several languages, to ensure accessibility for business communities everywhere. The Roadmap was launched during the November 2020 meeting of the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property, which featured World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Daren Tang, and ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO as keynote speakers.

The ICC IP Roadmap is a useful resource for businesses and policymakers, but also for students, researchers, or legal professionals looking up-to-date information on these issues.




Coordinators from a diverse range of industries.


ICC National Committees


Experts from 30 different countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Oceania.


Editions of the IP Roadmap have been published since 2000.


Translated into several languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Turkish, and Arabic.

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