It is getting to be award time around the entertainment world. And there are awards also being handed out in the intellectual property world. (Ok, maybe not the BEST bridge in subjects, but most of that entertainment stuff is protected by intellectual property.)
The US Chamber of Commerce recently released its annual Global IP Index for 2018.
The Chamber provides this index as "a blueprint for countries seeking to become true knowledge-based economies through an effective intellectual property (IP) architecture. Every individual economy represents a blank canvas, with policymakers using broad strokes in the form of IP policy to paint their country’s innovative and creative futures."
There are 8 categories with a total of 40 indicators used by the Chamber to provide its Index.
The most surprising and disappointing finding is that the United States has slipped to 12th this year, and tied with Italy.
So, what? Is this REALLY as important as who won a Grammy last week, or who will win an Oscar in the coming month?
This is incredibly important because this indicates that the US system for protecting patents is very uncertain for innovators. In particular, there is concern that in the fields of biotech and computer-implemented inventions, the patent system in the United States leaves too much uncertainty for innovators to be able to protect their invention.
In other words, there is becoming too great a financial risk in the United States to invest in particular technologies because the intellectual property protection is not consistent or nonexistent.
Good thing that it is just in the fields of biotech and computer-implemented inventions. I mean come on, who would want to do anything in those fields anyway? None of us can benefit from biotech and computers. (And yes, that is complete sarcasm with an eye roll on my part.)
The countries at the top of the IP Index "took steps to strengthen their IP systems and foster an environment that encourages and incentivizes creators to bring their ideas to market."
The US has to step it and start encouraging and incentivizing in all fields of technology so we remain that beacon of IP protection throughout the world.
And what can each of us do? It is simple, really. Educate yourself. Take the time to learn about patents. Know even the basics and how to recognize when to file within your organization. Understand how they can incentivize your organization to innovate, which in turn, should lead to an increased ROI for your organization. And then encourage your representatives to learn more as well and to support a stronger IP system.