Opinions and Editorials

Mar. 5, 2018

Morning Consult: Keeping America in the Lead on Innovation, by Patrick Kilbride

Business embraces risk. Supply-chain interruptions, slow-growth environments, changing tastes and good old-fashioned competition are all challenges that businesses large and small willingly face. In a healthy economy, risks are balanced with reward, encouraging entrepreneurs to bring new ideas to the market.

No business carries more inherent risk than the business of innovation. Sectors like creative content production, technology and the life sciences carry outsized risk with their heightened rates of failure, high costs of entry and lengthy incubation periods. But in a supportive environment that enables a commensurate return on investment, businesses are willing to face these risks head-on.

Business is far more reluctant to embrace political risk. When deciding where to invest, companies of all shapes and sizes seek a legal framework that reduces the levels of uncertainty that result from arbitrary or abrupt regulatory measures, extraordinary takings and retrospective impingement of private property rights. Intellectual property (IP) protections provide the foundation to safeguard innovation and creativity, protect consumers and incentivize the development of new, 21st-century technology. A strong, respected system of IP rights minimizes political risk and sets capital free to engage in innovative and creative activity.