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Why World IP Day Matters

The annual World IP Day recognition for 2021 is Monday, April 26. And yes, we know this isn’t one of the major dates on everyone’s calendar! So why bring it up?

The reason is that at the Institute for Policy Innovation we believe that intellectual property—indeed, all property—is critically important. Property rights are the foundation of a market economy. If you don’t have clear property rights, no one can really enter into contracts to buy and sell anything. That’s why free-market advocates consider property rights to be so critical. And it’s why we are always sensitive to government encroachments on property rights.

“Intellectual property” applies to copyright, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets—property rights that are based on creation and invention. And the federal government’s obligation to create and maintain a system of intellectual property rights is mandated in the U.S. Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8:

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

One reason the U.S. economy has been the most creative and inventive in the world is because of our historically strong patent and copyright system. And even though today most products may actually be manufactured elsewhere, the United States is still the home of creation and invention, whether it’s patents for high-tech products or biotech medicines, copyright for music, movies and TV shows, or trademarks for powerful global brands. 

It’s our belief that the foundation of an innovative economy depends at least in part on a strong system of protection for intellectual property rights, and that’s why we push back on attempts to weaken those protections.

So that’s why one of the key policy issues we work on at IPI is intellectual property. And it’s why for 16 years we have sponsored the leading World IP Day event in the nation’s capital. Because of the pandemic, this year’s event, like last year’s, is virtual. But this year we are doing two separate World IP Day virtual events. 

On Monday, April 26, we’re doing a patent-focused event entitled “Patents and the Vaccines.” And on Thursday, April 29, we’re doing a copyright-focused event entitled “The Problem of Streaming Piracy.”

We hope you can join us for these two virtual briefings by clicking on the (separate) registration links above. And if not, the events will be archived on our website and our YouTube channel.