OPINION: Raise a Toast to a Decade of Advances in Intellectual Property

Article excerpt

MONDAY saw the 10th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day, which this year celebrates the importance of IP - as an asset or a tool - for businesses and individuals alike.

When volcanic ash interrupted business recently, for example, those who had already implemented modern video conferencing facilities could breathe a sign of relief and further embrace the endless possibilities and opportunities born by intellectual property.

Intellectual property is one of the cornerstones of a growing number of businesses - a trend that is likely to continue. As technology becomes more sophisticated, not to mention essential in everyday lives, intellectual property is the foundation upon which businesses can exploit their own creativity and expertise.

The development of rapid data management and broadband, coupled with the success of iTunes and similar services, has created entirely new business models for the media and entertainment industries, and at the same time spurred on a hasty introduction of the Digital Economy Act to protect those who operate in them. But many still fail to protect one of their greatest assets - leaving the keys in the door for those seeking to exploit a weak defence. As advances in technology make it easier to infringe the intellectual property of businesses, all legal tools available should be deployed to protect this valuable asset. …