The FINANCIAL — Ideas Matter, a newly-formed group of enterprises, SMEs and trade associations, dedicated to demonstrating the benefits of intellectual property (IP) for our work and daily lives, launches today, on World IP day.
According to Philips Electronics, in today’s knowledge-based economy, companies and individuals across the globe increasingly depend on IP to help them fulfill their passions and achieve their goals. For many individuals, IP spurs creativity and rewards innovation. Companies that rely on IP are boosting today’s economies by creating jobs, growing GDP, driving innovation and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. For companies both large and small, IP is the bridge that connects innovation with economic growth and societal benefits.
Innovations that are protected by IP are worth on average between 180 – 240% more than those that aren’t protected1. Companies that protect their innovations can also significantly increase their market valuation, turnover, investment and employee growth.
Ideas Matter was formed by organisations across a wide range of sectors including: DSM, International Chamber of Commerce, International Trademark Association, Lundbeck, Microsoft, NBC-Universal, NL Octrooicentrum, Philips, SAP and Technicolor amongst others. Intellectual property is sometimes portrayed only as a complex and specialised legal matter. By emphasizing the benefits that IP offers, Ideas Matter aims to raise awareness of how businesses, individuals, economies and society as a whole benefit from patents, trademarks, design rights, copyrights and other forms of IP.
What companies are saying about IP — Speaking about the fundamental role IP plays in his company’s phenomenal success, Philippe Lacoste, Director of Lacoste explains: “IP is paramount for the success of any company. For Lacoste, IP has always played a vital role in our business. It enables us to foster creativity and innovation and protects not only the brand and its designs but also the memory of my grandfather Jean René Lacoste, the tennis legend, inventor of the polo shirt and founder of Lacoste.”
Discussing the importance of IP to his inventions, Trevor Baylis OBE, Inventor of the wind-up radio, adds: “As an inventor, you simply cannot disclose your ideas unless you’re protected. Generating ideas is a fundamental part of my work, so IP protection is an absolute prerequisite. Additionally, by trademarking my inventions their market value becomes measurably higher.”
Ruud Peters, Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Philips states: “So many of the technologies that society needs for the future – from the increased need for healthcare to clean energy – will need major R&D investments and returns that IP alone can provide. IP protection also enables open innovation, where ideas and technologies can be exchanged between companies, universities and research institutes. At Ideas Matter we firmly believe that IP has a strong significance for companies as a clear business asset, for economies to boost the knowledge economy and job growth, and for real people both in their work and everyday lives.”
Kelvin Kirby, CEO of Technology Associates International, explains the impact IP has had on his business: “IP is an integral part of our organisation’s DNA for two reasons: firstly to protect our branding and brand reputation and secondly to safeguard our software solutions.” He added: “Our patents have also helped us avoid some unfair free riding from other market players.”
On starting up her innovative vertical garden business, Claude Lester, owner of Vertigro, adds: “I spent a lot of time, energy and money prototyping my product. I looked into different kinds of IP protection and settled on trademark and design registrations in the UK and Europe as the best ways of supporting my business. As a result, my market value has increased significantly.”
IP promotes innovation and healthy economies — According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the ever-increasing body of public knowledge from existing patent information promotes further creativity and innovation in others. Subsequently, patents not only provide protection for the owner but also valuable information and inspiration for future generations of researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs.
IP-intensive sectors, such as aeronautics, automotive, chemical, technology, manufacturing and pharmaceutical amongst others, are substantial contributors to national economies and represent 7.8% of GDP in the UK2. Brand manufacturing specifically accounts for approximately 14% of GDP in the UK, 7% in Germany and 6.8% in Spain3. Copyright-based sectors e.g. books, films, broadcasting, music, photography and software creates 4-11% of GDP in Europe and other G8 countries4.
“Ideas really do matter. Ideas bring about change and transformation in society and in the economy. How do we bring about ideas? That’s the role of intellectual property,” said Francis Gurry, Director General of the WIPO. “Ideas Matter is a great initiative. I very much welcome it, and I very much welcome the desire of its initiators to promote a discussion and an understanding of why ideas are important and why it is important to stimulate ideas.”