Without intellectual property, there is no knowledge economy.

Propiedad Intelectual
FIFARMA

Without intellectual property, there is no knowledge economy.

Yaneth Giha
Executive Director of FIFARMA

Protecting creations and innovations is essential for knowledge to drive economic growth.

In 1962, economist Fritz Machlup published his book "The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States," where he coined the concept of the knowledge economy. A model where information is the raw material and intellectual creations stemming from knowledge attract investment, generate skilled employment, and foster greater economic growth. 

At the beginning of this century, the World Bank added to the discussion the "Pillars of the Knowledge Economy," gathering the fundamental components that a country must have to successfully develop in this field.

The first is an institutional framework that fosters incentives for the creation, dissemination, and use of knowledge. The second is an educated and skilled workforce. The third is an innovation ecosystem that promotes collaboration between companies and research centers. The fourth is an adequate information infrastructure that facilitates its processing and dissemination. 

It is precisely in that first pillar of the institutional framework where intellectual property is framed, which encompasses the property rights granted to an inventor or creator for their intellectual productions or intangible assets. 

And without intellectual property, the knowledge economy cannot thrive. Pretending that these rights can be limited, restricted, or eliminated without affecting the fundamentals of the economy, such as growth, investment, or employment, is short-sighted. 

To begin with, intellectual property functions as an incentive and a guarantee for creators. It seeks to ensure that they have the confidence to make their innovation public with the assurance that their property right will allow them to have exclusive commercial use for a certain period. This is a fair recognition not only of the ingenuity of the person who conceived the idea but also of the effort, investment, and time required for that idea to come to fruition. Therefore, it is superficial to think that the value of an innovative product should be equivalent to its production cost, as doing so would disregard the work and resources invested for years, often decades, before reaching the market to solve a problem.

It is also important to note that intellectual property benefits not only creators but society as a whole.

Many intellectual creations materialize into tangible products or solutions, attracting investment - both domestic and foreign - and generating new qualified jobs with better remuneration.

Furthermore, the constant protection of intellectual property ensures the continuity of creations and innovations that contribute to improving the quality of life of the population in various areas such as health, technology, or entertainment.

In this sense, it is essential for states through their governments, legislative bodies, and judicial systems to adopt measures to protect and enforce these intellectual property rights. 

Countries in Latin America have made significant progress by adhering to international agreements and enacting legislation that protects inventions. The challenge lies in the effective implementation of this regulation, as well as the agility of judicial processes.

From FIFARMA, we will continue working with governments, congresses, academia, and media to promote protection and highlight the contribution of intellectual property because without it, there is no innovation or knowledge economy.

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