Tuesday, April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day. Coordinated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World IP Day celebrates “the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.” This year, World IP Day focuses on “the future of culture in the digital age: how we create it, how we access it, how we finance it. We will look into how a flexible intellectual property system helps ensure that the artists and creative industries are properly paid for their work, so they can keep creating.”
In health policy, we are mostly concerned with patents, which protect investment in innovation in medical technology, especially drugs and biologics. In honor of World IP Day, here are some of the publications NCPA has produced to make the case for good patent policy:
- A discussion of a global ranking of countries by standard of IP protection: Countries with stronger IP protection attract more investment and grow faster.
- How the Trans-Pacific Partnership fails to protect innovation in biologics.
- Comparing “prize-grants” to patents for pharmaceutical innovation.
- Who patents genes? Mostly, the government.
- How patents drive investment in pharmaceutical research.
- How Indian patients suffer from India’s weak patent protection.
This year’s World IP Day focuses on intellectual property in the digital age. Primarily, this concerns copyright in film and music. While that may seem remote from health policy, we are also entering into an era of digital health, which we discuss frequently at this blog. Digital health includes businesses which produce educational content for patients, doctors, and other care-givers. It also includes businesses that deliver digital therapy that looks like entertainment. An example with which I am acquainted is CheeksUp, a new venture that delivers speech therapy to children via an interactive face-motion game (and which just graduated from the Relevant Health accelerator in Rockville, MD).
Protecting intellectual property of all types is only becoming more important in health care.