Intellectual Property Rights: The New Wealth of Nations
9 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 3, 2015
Mankind’s journey from the hunter gatherer stage to the present knowledge gatherer stage spans many millennia and involves dramatic changes both in lifestyles and socio-economic activity. This paper traces the origins of intellectual property rights from the 15th century when the wealth of nations depended on capital, labour, and mineral resources to the modern age which is increasingly dominated by and dependent on Intellectual property as a nation’s new treasure. We no longer live in a world where necessity drives invention, rather in a world where invention drives necessity. The fact that developed nations with their towering research universities, R&D labs, pools of innovators, and mega corporations have already established a natural monopoly in building massive IP portfolios has placed lesser developed nations at a disadvantage substantial enough to antagonize them towards patent monopolies. The political debate must therefore be sensitive to such perceptions and seek an equitable balance that allows the widest possible availability of advanced technologies for useful economic exploitation and generation of economic activity and advanced knowledge.
Keywords: Intellectual property rights, wealth of nations, knowledge & information age, economics of innovation
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