Innovators in the biomedical and telecommunications sectors have recently illustrated the important role intellectual property protection can play in fostering true collaboration.
Leaders in a variety of disciplines have suggested that the problems faced by modern business executives and academic researchers are too complex to be solved in isolation. Collaborative exchanges of insight, experience and ideas may hold the key to powerful innovations. But in a knowledge-based economy, experts want to be assured that their creative and intellectual investments are safeguarded by strong IP protection.
According to the Associated Press, the World Intellectual Property Organization recently organized a medical knowledge database composed of patents and independent studies made available, royalty-free, by leading researchers. On the strength of this collective wisdom, project coordinators will target the cures to more than 20 tropical diseases.
The merits of transparency and cooperation are also being realized in the telecommunications sector.
"If necessity is the mother of invention, patent law becomes its protector," industry expert Shi Lirong told Global Telecoms Business. "Without patent law, the costs and risks of research and development would deter serious investment; consequently few could innovate and the industry would stagnate."
According to Lirong, both companies and consumers will benefit from the industry's renewed focus on interoperability as system upgrades can be deployed faster and more affordably.