Today, on World Intellectual Property Day 2016, we join our partners around the world in celebrating the important role that the creative and innovative communities play in our cultural and economic lives.
As President Obama said in commemoration of World Intellectual Property Day, or World IP Day, today: “Whether through the music or movies that inspire us, the literature that moves us, or the technologies we rely on each day, ingenuity and innovation serve as the foundations upon which we will continue to grow our economies and bridge our cultural identities.”
Innovation, creativity, and artistic expression are quintessential characteristics of the American experience. We are, and have always been, a Nation of inventors and creators making bold ideas real and blazing a trail of technological advancement. As the world’s most innovative economy, intellectual property is critical to U.S. growth and American businesses. Nearly 40 million American jobs are directly and indirectly supported by intellectual property-intensive industries, which account for over $5 trillion – or 35 percent – of U.S. GDP.
World IP Day offers an opportunity to pause and celebrate the artists and inventors whose work and ideas touch our lives in both profound and practical ways. Films, TV, music, books, video games, apps, inventions, the arts – from sculpture and painting to photography, dance, and theater – and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement form the body of cultural works and expression that define us individually and as a Nation.
Since its founding, World IP Day has also offered an opportunity to join with others around the globe to consider how strong IP protections and enforcement, like those in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), contribute to the flourishing of music and the arts and drive the technological innovation that helps shape our world. Through trade agreements such as TPP, we can rewrite the rules of trade to benefit America’s middle class and ensure that our workers, our businesses, and our values are shaping globalization and the 21st century economy, rather than getting left behind. And TPP requires participating partners to provide effective tools, modeled after those in the United States, to thwart piracy, both digital and in the physical world.
So take a moment today to join President Obama in celebrating the role of intellectual property in our world. And to all the makers out there, keep doing what you do. America’s greatest export truly is the creativity and innovation of the American people.
Danny Marti is the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.