by Dr. Kamil Idris
Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Making intellectual property your business - the theme for this year's World Intellectual Property Day - highlights the key role of intellectual property both in achieving success for business and in enhancing daily life for us all.
It is an appeal to entrepreneurs to fully capitalize on their intellectual assets and to use the tools of the intellectual property system to advance their business goals. A company's intangible assets - ranging from human capital and know-how to inventions, brands, designs and other products of its creativity and innovation - are, today, often more valuable than a company's physical assets. Intellectual property is a vital ingredient in securing the commercial success of any company wishing to stay ahead of the field in creating innovative new products, finding modern and cost-effective ways to manufacture old ones, expanding market-share and generating customer loyalty. It is therefore in the interests of business to make best use of their intangible assets by embracing the opportunities offered by the intellectual property system.
Making intellectual property your business is also a wider call for civil society to recognize that respect for intellectual property rights is of benefit not only to creators but to society as a whole. The intellectual property system enables innovators and creators to mint marketable inventions and works from the raw material of their artistry and ingenuity. This makes the intellectual property system a driver of technological development and ensures a force for the enrichment of our global cultural heritage, and a powerful tool for wealth creation for the benefit of all.
The history of human progress is one of opportunity. Today, universal acceptance and the strategic use of intellectual property offers an opportunity for individuals, businesses and countries to convert their creative resources into economic assets capable of generating wealth and contributing to a more secure future. A strong national commitment to the intellectual property system ensures the establishment of an environment within which the creative and innovative potential of a country may flourish.
Intellectual assets are the principal currency of today's knowledge economy. Economic success, and associated social and cultural benefits, hinge on the generation and management of innovation, information and ideas. Harnessed by the intellectual property system, these drive the incredible forward thrust of technological and cultural development and thereby spawn new growth industries.
WIPO proclaims the universal value of intellectual property, which marks the world's evolution, contributes to the progress of societies and is a key element in securing sustained economic, social and cultural development. Creativity is an infinite resource, native to all peoples and relevant to all times and cultures. Let us forge our common future today by embracing intellectual property as a way to use that creativity for the betterment of humankind.