IP enriches our lives

April 26, 2022 – In some public narratives, intellectual property (IP) is seen as a self-serving tool used by big companies who can afford heavy legal costs. This is a mistake. Without IP, much of the scientific, commercial and artistic creations that have enriched human life would not likely have come about. Without a legal ecosystem that respects IP, companies would not invest and innovate and this means not only foreign companies but domestic ones too – as many countries that do not take IP law enforcement seriously have realised, to their detriment.

However, to ensure continued public buy-in to IP regimes, governments and multi-lateral bodies like the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have a responsibility to continually scrutinise IP laws to ensure that protection is not given too much beyond what is commercially necessary. A reasonable degree of taxpayer support should also be given to MSMEs in bearing the legal costs of registering patents, trademarks and copyright on creative works, so that IP laws do not become a bulwark favouring big business at the expense of smaller players and start-ups.

Leon Perera, Chairman and Co-Founder, Spire Research and Consulting

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