The events of 2019 reminded us that innovation has the power to transform the lives of people around the world. They also demonstrated that valuable new ideas, products and processes can only flourish where they are protected. Here are several key themes that recap the year for IP Progress:
Innovation continues to thrive across sectors and geographies.
Whether a wearable technology, a medical device that brings needed care to remote areas or a way to prevent mosquitos from reproducing and spreading disease, new inventions truly can enhance the way we live and thrive. This year’s World IP Day looked specifically at the role of innovation in sports, showcasing a new sector on IP Progress that – along with many other case studies – demonstrates the truly remarkable breakthroughs fostered through robust intellectual property systems that span diverse industries and markets.
Innovation delivers for people and economies across the world.
Studies from leading global authorities continue to make the important link between investing in innovation and a country’s future success. We heard this directly from several IP Progress partners, who note that whether across a country or around the world, the most prosperous economies and people rely on a strong innovation ecosystem with effective intellectual property protections at the core.
Threats to innovation persist and must be addressed.
While inventors across many fields continue to bring new products and new ways of doing things to people in their countries and around the world, some governments are determined to block progress. Whether through drastic actions like compulsory licensing or other policies that weaken protections for new inventions, policymakers in a few countries across Asia, Europe and elsewhere seemed bent on denying their people the gains from innovation, while ignoring other barriers.
Global leaders must do more to drive progress.
Global forums like the WHO Executive Board Meeting, the World Health Assembly and the United Nations General Assembly should be important places to promote policies that drive discovery. This year, we saw leaders reaffirm the importance of innovation – especially to achieve critical common goals like universal health coverage. Global leaders recognize that innovation can power new ways of working together across public and private sectors, borders and industries to achieve shared priorities. We look forward to more in the new year.
2019 reminded us once again about the power of innovation to improve lives worldwide, while also reinforcing the need to remain vigilant in protecting innovators so their new ideas, products and processes can flourish.