This past year saw the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, as the world turned its attention to preparing for future global challenges. It has become even more apparent how innovators, supported and protected by intellectual property (IP) rights, solved our biggest issues. Indeed, efforts to hinder their work will only hamper our ability to thrive.
Here are three key takeaways from the year:
Innovators address pressing challenges and improve our world.
Every day, innovators are able to advance solutions that propel society forward because they are properly protected and incentivized by IP rights. World IP Day celebrated women and their broad impact on the acceleration of innovation and creativity for the betterment of society. Solutions to environmental and health care challenges, such as wastewater treatment, clean air technology, cancer diagnostics and CRISPR technology, have all illustrated the tangible impact of innovation on our daily lives.
Efforts to weaken intellectual property rights impede progress.
Anti-IP advocates continue to call for the upheaval of an innovation ecosystem responsible for so much good, eyeing tactics like compulsory licensing to allow others to use innovators’ IP rights without their consent. Whether it’s the pharmaceutical legislation in the European Union or calls for the expansion of TRIPS flexibilities to extend to COVID-19 therapeutics and diagnostics, these attacks on IP are unfounded, unproductive and counter to progress. Thankfully there are effective solutions to support access to innovation while supporting innovators – and leaders must focus their attention there, and remainlaser-focused on the real barriers standing in the way.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve understood that innovation must be fostered and protected to help address what’s next.
As we witnessed during COVID-19, IP helped facilitate rapid innovation that continues today. As world leaders prepare for the next pandemic, it’s crucial to foster policy environments that ensure strong IP rights continue to protect and support innovators and their vital work. The World Health Organization’s Pandemic Accord negotiations present a key opportunity to support pro-innovation policies – for the betterment of global health and society as a result.
It has become even more apparent how innovators, supported and protected by intellectual property rights, solve our biggest issues.