Intellectual Property Rights Essay

1103 words - 5 pages

Intellectual property rights provide the foundation for building and extending markets for new technology. Economists and policymakers are progressively realizing that to manage and encourage technological progress, there is a need of a framework of legal institutions that promotes its benefits but also limits its excess. The paramount difficulty of companies and individuals engaging in development of new technology of any kind is appropriating the fruits of their labor. In developed market economies, in spite of the presence of substantial intellectual property rights, the widespread imitation of intellectual property deems them imperfect and inadequate. Lax enforcement of domestic laws ...view middle of the document...

A government report warns that IP theft costs the United States as much as $300 billion a year, roughly the equivalent of the current American trade balance with Asia. China, one of the main offenders, accounts for 80% of the United States intellectual property theft. To an extent China encourages intellectual property theft and an astounding number of businesses and government entities from China engage in the practice. According to President Obama, it is one of the most serious economic and national security threats they face. Millions of jobs in the United States are victims of intellectual property theft. The allegation of five Chinese People’s Liberation Army Officers for their role in hacking into United States computer networks to steal intellectual property between 2010 and 2012 is a sign of how rapidly the threat for the United States is rising. The flip side to this is that there is no down side to the process for China.
Stronger dissuasion tactics that make IP theft unprofitable are required. Penalties for offenders should be strong to promote dissuasion. For example, there could be a tariff on Chinese imports amounting to a certain percentage of the estimated amount of intellectual property theft. Government and corporate trends and attitudes that support intellectual property theft should be targeted by the use of adverse consequences. Respective authorities should be given the power to bar entities that gain from intellectual property theft. More resources should be allocated to the prosecutors of the crime to seize offenders to discourage the crime. In extreme cases, counter attacks to retrieve stolen information should also be allowed which may in turn end up causing greater damage to the offenders. Another possible dimension could be to view intellectual property theft as a matter of national security. When allowing a foreign investor to operate in the country, their record regarding intellectual property theft must be taken into consideration as one of the major determinants. The open flow of information between companies and the government is important so that the government can detect thefts. There needs to be a framework for protecting companies against lawsuits for disclosing such information as this is more than often the reason why companies don’t share information.
Patents, copyrights, trademarks are the main legal instruments for protecting intellectual property. Unique kinds of legal instruments like plant breeder’s right, and integrated circuit rights have also emerged to address definite needs of innovators. These legal instruments...

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