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Intellectual Property along does not promote innovation


The Brazilian Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (INPI)'s vice-president, Mr Mauro Maia, recently acknowledged that many important issues surround intellectual property, but the most important one was to understand and to be conscious of its relevance to the country.

Mr Maia affirmed that IP was used and relevant to the innovation environment nevertheless, it also noted that this legal instrument and system does ‘not promote development’ by itself.
These remarks were part of Mr Maia participation on the seminar ‘20 Years of Law. 9,279 / 96’ taking at the Universidade Cândido Mendes (UCAM) on 13 May, in Rio de Janeiro. This event was attended by other IP experts such as a federal judge; the president of the Brazilian Association of Intellectual Property (ABPI); and the president of the Brazilian Association of Industrial Property Agents (ABAPI); among others.

Different parties brought crucial remarks such as noting the importance of keeping update especially in this era of globalization which is relevant to the mere enforcement of IP rights; the importance of strengthening the national IPO (i.e. INPI).

Image result for innovationIndeed, following these remarks there is obviously the issue that IP legislation along does not promote innovation. IP protects patents, copyrights, and other IP but what promotes creations and inventions and developments is much more than a mere legislation. For instance, R&D is the backbone of a globally knowledge driven economy; incentives to this may come through direct Government support such as grants or tax credits; higher education also has an important role in R&D. In any case, the IP role is to protect the creator of the work from unfair practices and it does so by balancing exclusive rights given to owners with accessibility rights to the society.

There is indeed a (bad) culture in many countries to illegally appropriate IP and use it without paying and/or recognising the right holder. Cases of piracy in DVDs and software, and counterfeit clothing are still pretty common to find on the streets (and even in shopping malls! – mum just came for a visit, of course presents are always expected…a t-shirt which has a CHANEL logo in the front and reads CHANNEL).

Image result for overprotection ipMr Maia’s message is clear: there is the need to make people aware that IP is important. Nevertheless, in some countries this awareness should be at the same time/level as to make people knowledgeable what IP is for. Rather than just instructing the SMEs to use IP protection, consumers (we) need to appreciate IP. At the end we are the ones that buy that invention or creativity – why should consumers pay that extra money? By answering this simple question, the society can engage in a healthy debate of IP protection [or overprotection].

Source here.

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