Technology has developed alongside the rise of globalism, and as the two progress, the rules of the international order are likely to continue to change. In Heidi Harris’ article titled “Intellectual Property in the Digital Age, with Kamil Idris on the pitfalls of Globalization“, the author argues that while globalism has allowed for innovation, there are new grey areas are the protection of the ownership of ideas. And as intellectual rights are important for innovation, wealthy and powerful countries and firms have controlled the patent market, while poorer ones have fallen off. A new paradigm shift in regulation and global treaties is likely a necessity.
Kamil Idris, the former director of the WIPO in Geneva, says export markets have expanded with globalization, and with this the number of patents have also skyrocketed. This has opened new doors for innovation, but also for piracy and intellectual theft. The problem is also that a gap is being created between wealthy countries, and developing countries, whom cannot always afford large amounts of patents. Currently the issue is gaining attention, as the WTO has recommended new policies involving intellectual property.
Kamil Idris has been heavily involved in crafting new policy related to this issue, and one of the main involvements was bringing attention to the issue through the World Intellectual Property day, which is on the 26th of April. Another agreement that likely will need to be reformed for the times, is the WIPO Copyright Treaty, which is an agreement that addresses the protections needed involving intellectual property. This old agreement, was first signed at the Berne Conference in 1887, and addressed protecting artistic ideas such as science, literature, and art. Now it is likely it needs to be expanded to digital and tech ideals. The other current agreement, which is considered the most comprehensive agreement to date on this issue, is the “Agreement of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property.” It has recognized that current issues are unique to the digital age, and there needs to be new agreements based on this new age and paradigm.