Posted by: Alex Ryan, Economic Officer
World Intellectual Property Day was April 26 – a day better known in Ukraine as the anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, but is also the anniversary of the founding of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1967. We decided to mark World Intellectual Property Day one day later out of respect for the victims of Chornobyl.
This year’s theme for World Intellectual Property Day — “visionary innovators” — recognizes the special contributions made by artists, scientists, and other innovators all over the world. Visit the website of the WIPO for more information.
The protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) is a frequent topic of discussion during bilateral economic discussions between the United States and Ukraine, including at the annual U.S.-Ukraine Trade and Investment Council (TIC). At the 2010 TIC, the U.S. and Ukraine agreed to a wide-ranging Action Plan to improve the protection of IPR. Unfortunately, the Government of Ukraine has made minimal progress in implementing the components of the plan. This does not only hurt U.S. companies operating in Ukraine. The poor IPR environment in Ukraine equally hurts Ukrainian companies and Ukrainian innovators—its scientists and artists.
Why is a robust system of IPR protection important for Ukraine? Most basically, protecting IPR is essential to promote the creativity and ingenuity of researchers, scientists, artists, and engineers, who are at the forefront of technological developments and innovative solutions. If people don’t think they will be paid for their work, it takes away the motivation to create and innovate. Without protecting intellectual property, the Government of Ukraine risks stifling innovation before it begins. If Ukraine wants to become a modern economy, it must work to improve its protection of IPR. (more…)