Intellectual Property: Source of Innovation, Creativity, Growth and Progress

  • 25 October 2005
Intellectual Property: Source Of Innovation, Creativity, Growth And Progress

This document is one in a series of BASCAP products that are being developed to provide value to stakeholders across sectors and across borders, by connecting ongoing business activities, business strategies and messages.

Almost everyone in society is a user and potential creator of intellectual property. Its protection, through a system of national and international rules called intellectual property rights, is necessary to provide incentives and financing for innovation and creation, which in turn lead to economic, cultural and social progress. Protection for intellectual property also encourages the production and dissemination of knowledge and a wide range of quality goods and services.

Intellectual property rights add value for consumers and can provide a guarantee of source and quality. Intellectual property protection contributes to economic growth in both developed and developing countries by stimulating innovation, cultural diversity and technical development as part of a larger policy framework. Properly used, intellectual property rights can also be key tools for the alleviation of poverty through trade.

The immense adverse economic and social impact of intellectual property theft requires that combating counterfeiting and piracy become a priority for society, and not just right holders. Unless governments, businesses and citizens make a coordinated effort to uphold the intellectual property system, society will not reap its benefits.

Call to action

To derive the full potential of the intellectual property system as a tool for growth and progress, governments must take positive action. Suggested measures include: