An In And Out Revelation About Global IP Regime

Mr Patrick Kilbride shares his perspectives on the significance of GIPC'S work on IP

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Businesses are truly global in current times. The competitive forces that businesses respond to and the policy environment they work in are determined at a global level. Stating this fact, Patrick Kilbride shares his perspectives on the significance of GIPC'S work on IP.


"To be able to serve the members at the US Chamber of Commerce, we look globally to and among the key markets in the world, India obviously plays a central role. I think both for the size of the market, its geopolitical significance and I think as a thought leader in many respects, we sort of look to India as the market of the present and also the future. On IP, specifically, recognizing that intellectual property intensive sectors were driving the economy that, the productivity of our economy depended on our ability to create and protect intellectual property across a wide range of industries. On that basis, GIPC started to look at the environment at home in the US and then globally to understand what important differences were between the way IP was approached in different markets," said Kilbride.

GIPC is part of the US Chamber of Commerce, representing about 3 million members which includes large and small businesses, state and local chambers of commerce, American chambers of commerce around the world and some of the industry trade associations.

Being asked about how the countries are been chosen to the chamber, he responded that there are no particular indexes to choose a country into the chamber. It can be the size of the country, available data sets, participation and influence in the market. GIPC particularly represents the IP intensive sector. So, the companies of movies, medicines, music, advanced manufacturing, high technology can be their members.

"We don't follow any criteria because we don't want to contribute to a narrative that suggests that intellectual property is something only for wealthy countries. There is also a misconception that wealthier countries have foisted intellectual property on the developing world so that the companies in wealthy countries can get paid. And we look at it very differently. We are looking at IP as a prerequisite that enables companies to invest in the first place. So, if we want more innovation in a given country, then we want to make sure that the IP environment is stable in advance," he said.

When the businesses innovate, there is different kinds of risks. To do a normal business, there normally exist a risk associated with supply and demand with changing consumer tastes with regulation. But when there comes innovation, two more layers of risks will be added. One is the technical risk associated with when you are doing something new and the other one is the political risk. With IP, the political pressure is high. GIPC helps the companies to understand these risks as they do businesses in different markets.

"In countries like Russia and China, sometimes it is difficult to measure the government interventionism where a judicial decision can affect a strategic product, industry or technology. So, with that reason, we look at China and Russia and say, they score a little bit better than we believe they should. But on purely objective basis, it's hard to correct for those things sometimes."

In Indian ecosystem, there was more openness to taking a look at the IP system than we had previously. The national IPR strategy of 2016 led to a number of important reforms which strengthen the IP environment in India. The country rose fairly consistently on the GIPC index several years following that.

Commenting on the consistency of Indian ecosystem, Kilbride said that, "What rule of law matters a great deal to investment in innovation. Because when political risk added on top of technical risk and business risk makes it so much more significant that you have a stable, legal and policy environment that companies and industries with long time horizons, where your investment R&D isn't going to produce new results in six months. It is more likely to be six years and you have to have the confidence that the rules are going to stay the same. Also, the market psychology is really an important aspect of how the businesses stays consistent."

It is only when intellectual property rights are well defined and well protected in law, an idea can be transformed into an asset. Innovation is everywhere because people are inherently innovative, but to make it as an innovation, it requires a stable system. But the system that we have today is fairly narrow and limited.

Stating the futuristic aspects of startups in the Indian ecosystem, Patrick Kilbride said that, "I think there should be an ability to monetize even if it is just in terms of access to credit or other sort of socio-economic benefits that are associated with building our individual skills. That's how you create an ownership economy, that it's just not for the corporation, but it is actually empowering individuals to invest in themselves in their own ideas and startups are sort of central to all of that."