On Wednesday the Gowers Report on IP Rights will be published. The great man himself, Andrew Gowers has done a little of primer in the Sunday Times and it is quite a good read too.
Interesting comments include: "In Britain, the creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the rest of the economy. IP — if properly enforced — provides the essential framework to promote and protect creativity and innovation by industry, artists and consumers. Without it few, if any, of the innovations that we take for granted would be brought to the market.
Consider that 20 years ago the market value of the top 10 firms listed on the London Stock Exchange roughly equalled their book value — the value of their physical assets in buildings and machinery. Since then, book value has doubled while market value has increased nearly tenfold. "
And as he goes on:
"Today, Britain’s IP system faces two profound changes — globalisation and technological advance. Of course, both of these trends also offer enormous opportunities for businesses reliant on IP.
Globalisation means there are far greater rewards than ever for the most innovative firms to compete in ever-larger markets. And there are greater pressures on firms to innovate to survive in increasingly competitive global markets. Innovation — and the IP rights that protect innovation — is therefore key to seizing the opportunities of globalisation.
Similarly, technological advances, especially on the internet, enable greater dissemination of creativity and innovation, as well as creating new models of knowledge accumulation — for example, the Open Source movement. New technologies enable greater re-use of existing artworks and inventions — as in the spread of sampling in popular music or of collaborative research and development. "