Intellectual Property in the Digital Age, with Kamil Idris on the Pitfalls of Globalization

Professor Kamil Idris, the Director of World International Property Organization (WIPO) between 1997 and 2008 talks of the impact of the globalization on intellectual property rights. This article provides an insight into his recent interview with Venture Outsource. Highlighting the key sectors of innovations that are likely to be affected in this era of new technology every day, and how the developed counties can take advantage of their economic strength to dilute creativity from the developing countries.

To begin with, Prof. Kamil Idris points out the manner in which globalization can endanger intellectual property rights. In a time where internet is accessible by the majority of the world, the IP laws have been made weak. Prof. Idris reports that counterfeit products and piracy are one of the challenges that are encountered when enforcing IP regulations. As a solution, he says that manpower training and providing the right IP capacity can help solve the problem, especially in developing countries.

Prof. Kamil Idris believes that limited resources are the key contributing factor in IP problems. While developing countries continue to benefit from wealth brought by IP superiority, others have lagged behind. The problem is more prominent in Africa noting that only less than 2% of patent applications originate from the continent with a large portion coming from North America and Europe. tThe key hindering factor is the large development gap with Sub- Saharan Africa is the lack of a capacity platform on how they can value their traditional skill and digital resources.

Another area that hinders development in these countries is lack of a proper legal framework that can neutralize the impact of developed nations on them. Prof. Kamil Idris thinks that the only way the issue can be solved is through the World Trade organization tailoring its framework to be at the same level with WIPO laws. It is noted that according to International copyright was put in place to make sure that all IP issues are treated equally.

Prof. Kamil Idris recommends that the international agreements are a better way to tackle the impact of globalization. With the total dedication from countries and international institution, it becomes easy to address the IP problem in the digital environment. That is only possible if the individual states can support infrastructure development that is aligned with WIPO and WTO systems.