Intellectual Property:

Increasingly, we live in a world where value is generated by creative work, by innovative designs, products and compositions. Especially in advanced economies, economic growth and societal well-being are tied to the incentives to generate new ideas and new technologies and to the ability to put those ideas and technologies into practice. Rights to intellectual property form the foundation for advancing idea-generated growth and the enormous range of improvements in our lives that come from new technologies. Substantial social value is created as well from the software, entertainment, and other copyright-intensive industries, and from the ability of consumers to readily identify quality goods by brand names. Protections for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are essential. Although the basic intellectual property laws in most advanced economies are sound, proposals for legislative alteration of the laws – as well as the decisions made in everyday administrative and judicial implementation of laws – constantly present new issues. Further, rampant piracy threatens to undermine the benefits of intellectual property laws. Piracy also threatens consumers, who often unknowingly will buy counterfeit products that are defective, including pharmaceuticals and biologics that are critical to modern medical treatments. International piracy and violations of intellectual property rights abroad present issues of critical importance to our economy.