Opinions and Editorials

Jun. 27, 2019

Morning Consult: America’s IP System Must Protect Inventors, Not Patent Pirates by Dee Stewart

It is no question that America’s inventors and entrepreneurs take risks. Our nation’s knowledge economy is built by those willing to pursue new discoveries and advancements. This often means costly and risky research and development in the face of looming adversity.

Strong intellectual property protections provide the incentives necessary to allow entrepreneurs to recoup on their investment and assurance their innovation won’t be stolen by imitators and copycats. IP is vital to job growth and economic competitiveness, with the most recent report by the U.S. Department of Commerce finding that IP intensive industries account for a total of 45.5 million jobs or 30 percent of all jobs in the economy. Year after year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Center’s IP Index ranks the United States as the strongest IP regime in the world.

However, strong statistics don’t discount the need to stay vigilant to protect America’s IP exceptionalism. Our ability to remain a world leader in creativity and innovation depends on preventing assaults on IP both at home and abroad. State-sanctioned IP theft from China (which currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually) continues to act as the centerpiece of the Trump administration’s ongoing trade dispute with China.