WASHINGTON April 26, 2011 - James Pooley, Deputy Director General for Innovation and Technology at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), delivered the keynote address Tuesday at the sixth annual world intellectual property day forum, calling patents a "key driver for innovation".
“The patent system generates the incentive for innovation,” Pooley said during the event, which was hosted by the Institute for Policy Innovation. “The intellectual property system is not just about innovation though, it’s also about bringing ideas to market.”
Pooley explained how patents provide not only protection for inventors but also assurances for investors.
“By having a patent protecting a product, investors feel their investments are protected from being copied or stolen,” said Pooley.
WIPO is trying to spur global innovation through the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The Patent Cooperation Treaty provides a unified international patent filing system for 142 nations. By having a single application, inventors are able to gain faster access to the international market.
The number of international patent filings by U.S. companies has flattened, but those filed by Chinese companies has risen steeply.
China is now the fourth largest filer of international patent applications. Currently the Chinese government is subsidizing the costs of filling a patent, which is driving the large number of filings but Pooley feels that this subsidy will likely not last forever.
Currently, one-third of the international patents that are filed come out of Asia.