The world economy has become highly focused on intangibles and Intellectual property. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced in a 2017 report that nearly one third of the value of manufactured products sold around the world came from ‘intangible capital’, such as branding, design and technology. Thus intellectual property (IP) is now a key economic asset. Today, more than ever, a country’s economic and industrial development is linked to its ability to receive, absorb and use existing knowledge, innovation, technology and science. Related to a nation’s ability to use this knowledge is its ability to access it. Access to knowledge, innovation and technology is established through intellectual property regulations (IPRs). Developed and emerging nations got to where they are today through their bespoke sovereign intellectual property regimes which adjusted themselves gradually to accommodate the increasing capacities of local industrial sectors. Developing nations need the same policy space in order to be able to emerge.
Hahnenberger, Ivanka, Intellectual Property: An on-going Battle for a Development Agenda (June 15, 2020).