Some voices carry more weight than others. That’s why people should take note when Professor Kamil Idris offers up his opinion on globalization. He’s coming from a uniquely informed position. As former director general for the World Intellectual Property Organization, he obviously knows the global landscape.
And this insight makes Professor Idris a voice people should heed. He recently talked at length about the importance of intellectual property in the digital age. And in doing so he helped explain just what steps need to be taken in the future.
He began by discussing the nature of intellectual property. People might think of it somewhat abstract terms related to fictional characters or the like. But intellectual property can quite literally be a matter of life and death. He noted that pharmaceutical products are usually built upon current research. People base new discoveries on the findings of their current research base. And that can’t exist without intellectual property laws.
Basically, Professor Idris points out that intellectual property is something that a country needs in order to build a future. But he also notes that it’s not always easy for developing countries to make proper use of. He notes that Africa has a very low rate of application.
And it’s not simply that these areas aren’t pushing new products or ideas into the market. They also tend to have very low levels of protection for the intellectual property of other nations. As such, bootleg or counterfeit materials tend to flourish there. It can promote short term gain. But intellectual theft is like theft of anything else. It’s not true growth and can’t produce long term improvements.
Professor Idris notes that what’s really needed is a larger international IRP framework. The hope there is that it can do more than simply enforce international copyright. Because part of what’s needed isn’t just related to limits. He stressed that intellectual property is in large part related to building things up.
And if a country isn’t actually trying to add to their intellectual property than this isn’t going to be feasible. As such, global work on this issue also involves helping countries participate with the system by filing new patents and applications.