Intellectual Property (IP) is increasingly recognized as a critical element in driving value in business, so much so that governments worldwide are overhauling and improving their policies relating to IP.
In the United States, the Department of State promotes effective IP protection and enforcement worldwide. Strong IP rights (IPR) foster innovation, creativity, and economic growth.
This has led the Department to work collaboratively with other US government agencies, foreign governments, and international organizations to ensure IP enforcement, including combating counterfeit goods and piracy.
The State Department also provides technical assistance and training to build the capacity of foreign governments in IP enforcement. It engages in public diplomacy to raise awareness of the importance of IP rights protection.
The Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement (IPE) showcases the brilliance of American ingenuity to the world. Essentially, America's IP serves as the driving force behind its economy.
The IPE Office champions the robust protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights globally.
Collaborating with US ambassadors and diplomats stationed worldwide, the IPE team ensures that American rights holders' interests are represented abroad and emphasizes the vital role IPR protection plays in fostering innovation and promoting economic growth on a global scale.
American inventors and creators have contributed significantly to technology, biotechnology, space exploration, and life-saving medicines, while the country's artists have inspired and captivated audiences globally.
Indeed, IP rights have been critical in capturing, nurturing and growing these talents. That's why the government now runs a World IP Day to build awareness and encourage innovation.
The World IP Day 2022 theme was "Youth and IP: Innovating for a Better Future."
With their ingenuity and creativity, young people play a crucial role in driving sustainable change. IP rights can help turn creative ideas into reality, generate income, create jobs, and make a global impact. For enthusiasts of music, film, gaming, and technology, IP rights ensure a thriving creative scene.
This IP Day, they aimed to teach young innovators that IP rights are essential tools to protect their work and get proper credit for their ideas. With 1.8 billion people under the age of 24 living in the world today, encouraging these young people to support IP rights can further enhance value creation, community growth, and economic prosperity.
Sign up for Investing Intel Newsletter
IP Investment and the UK Government
Meanwhile, the UK Government also acknowledges the importance of IP as the world transitions to an alternative energy future.
The UK ranks first among the top patenting countries in offshore wind power and greener buildings, and its post-pandemic economic plan emphasizes science and innovation.
High-growth firms with IP created about 850,000 jobs from 2002-2009, while 7% of UK employment is in copyright-intensive industries.
Intellectual property (IP) is vital to the UK economy and innovation, with green technology patents doubling in the last five years.
The UK has a strong reputation in research, scientific institutions, and creative industries and aims to be the best place for inventors and creators.
IP rights encourage innovation and strengthen the economy, but IP infringement damages it and poses risks to consumers. The UK is committed to fighting IP crime and violation and enhancing its IP enforcement regime.
Past achievements include working with intermediaries to reduce access to infringing material, conducting research into infringing behavior, and creating a dedicated police IP crime unit.
The UK government plans to build better relationships to combat IP infringement, advise researchers on IP protection, analyze the impact of IP infringement, prepare for technological challenges, and empower consumers to report infringing goods.
The UK government believes a holistic approach - involving government, law enforcement, industry, and consumers - is necessary to tackle IP infringement and support innovation.
Considering IP as an Investor
When evaluating stocks with an eye on intellectual property, investors should start by reviewing the company's financial resources. The latest income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement are key to examine. These documents enable the analysis of critical financial metrics such as the price-to-earnings ratio, price-to-sales ratio, and earnings per share.
Furthermore, it is helpful to research the management team and the company's main competitors. To better comprehend the business operations and why IP matters in investing, investors are advised to read publicly listed company documents, such as its 10-K, annual shareholder report, or recent earnings call transcripts, and look for signs of a robust intellectual property portfolio. For more in-depth info, read our IP Investor's Guide.