In an article in Nature, Amy Maxmen writes that patents protecting intellectual property (IP), ideas shaped in the mind and leading to invention, help develop the biotech industries, even in developing nations:
“There’s been active debate about whether stronger intellectual property rights are a help or a hindrance to developing industries,” says Joseph Damond, vice president for international affairs at the Biotechnology Industry Organization(BIO), which commissioned the report to add evidence to the argument.
Questions about IP’s impact on research are particularly critical to countries that are beginning to invest in biotechnology. In order to advise those countries on IP regulations, BIO asked for an assessment of IP trends in nations around the world. In response to their request, Pugatch Consilium, a consultancy group based in Israel and the UK, combed through publications and databases for associations between IP rights (IPR) and measures of economic development and biotech health.
“In the literature we found that no, patenting does not stand in the way of research,” says David Torstensson, a senior consultant at the Pugatch and an author on the report presented 19 June. At the talk comprised of biotech fans, the audience appeared to agree with his pro-IP conclusion.This makes perfect sense. Laws protecting IP go a long way in ensuring that people and companies will continue investing in newer projects. It takes a lot of money to conduct good research. Thus, it is no surprise to find a correlation between nations that have strong IP laws—all things being equal—and their success in innovation and research and development. This goes for biotech and all other research-intensive industries.