IP: a positive force for society

Intellectual property rights (IPR) – the copyrights, patents, trademarks and similar rights upon which the lion’s share of creative and innovative products and services rely – have a vital role in helping the economies of developed and developing countries all over the world grow.

1. How intellectual property protection contributes to society

Benefits the economy
Sectors that rely on IPR represent a significant part of developed and developing economies, in terms of GDP, employment, tax revenues and strategic importance. IPR also promotes foreign direct investment (FDI) and technology transfers in developed and developing countries. As the 'knowledge economy' advances, more and more of the value that firms and the overall economy achieve will come from high value-added intangibles - including IP in inventions, brands and works. In many companies even now, 80% or more of their market value is attributable to intangibles, including IP.

Promotes innovation
Effective IPR increases funding for research and development and other innovation, including by helping firms realize more value from innovations that are protected by IPR than those that are not. IPR underpins development of cultural expression and diversity, and promotes broader dissemination of innovations through publication and licensing.

Helps firms monetize their innovations and grow
Firms use IPR in diverse ways to help them develop, trade in, and secure income from their innovative products and services. Firms that use IPR generally succeed better and have a higher market value than those that do not.

Helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

SMEs use IPR more extensively in many cases than large companies. SMEs that use IPR report higher growth, income and employment than those that do not.

Benefits consumers and society
IPR helps provide consumers with innovative products and services in virtually every area of life, and helps protect consumers from counterfeit and pirated products. IPR encourages competition among diverse product, function and quality offerings, giving consumers a greater choice among the goods and services they want and need. IPR also provides important mechanisms to help address many of society's most important needs, from clean energy and reduced carbon emissions to health care and a truly 'digital economy'.

2. How intellectual property helps business

For more information on how business can use IP,

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Relevant ICC Publications

ICC produces publications to explain the role of intellectual property protection.

Intellectual Property: Powerhouse for Innovation and Economic Growth

The study, Intellectual Property: Powerhouse for Innovation and Economic Growth, is the result of a collaborative effort on the part of ICC BASCAP and the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property. The report was launched during the Sixth Global Congress to Combat Counterfeiting and Piracy in 2011 and explores the benefits of intellectual property (IP) protection in strengthening national economies, driving innovation and technology, fostering new ideas, and enhancing society and culture.

Making Intellectual Property Work for Business

This ICC-WIPO handbook gives practical guidance to chambers of commerce and business associations looking to offer intellectual property (IP) services for businesses. Jointly published by ICC and WIPO, this handbook gives helpful advice on how to set up different types of IP services such as:

  • Training;
  • Awareness-raising, consultancy;
  • Policy advocacy;
  • Stimulating innovation.

Thirty case studies provide hands-on insight into this topic issue and illustrate good practices from around the world.

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