Empirical evidence demonstrates the value of intellectual property (IP) in creating economic growth, enhancing productivity and profitability, and increasing enterprise value. Research and Development (R&D) intensive industries, such as the life sciences, where patents are critical to competition, need an enabling environment to institutionalise innovation and IP generation and reward investments in IP.The US has approached IP strategically and created an IP infrastructure. Japan aims to develop into an "IP nation". China has an increasingly well-developed IP system. In contrast, the European Union (EU), which aims to become the world's leading knowledge-based economy, has a fragmented and expensive system of national patents. It lacks an environment which values investment in IP generation and management.Until recently, the EU enjoyed global competitive advantage in the life sciences, but this advantage has been lost. To regain this competitive advantage the EU must invest substantially in R&D, IP generation and commercialisation of these outputs.
Innovation, life sciences, patent systems, China, EU, USA, Japan
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