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Kamil Idris Intellectual Property Commentary

Published / by StevenLHarris

Professor Kamil Idris, the previous director of WIPO(the World Intellectual Property Organization)is among the strongest opponents of intellectual property theft. As a current representative of Sudan and former Presidential Candidate of Sudan in 2010, Professor Idris is well-versed in international law, especially regarding intellectual property rights. First and foremost, Idris explains the effect that globalization has had on intellectual property. As society has become more interconnected, globalization has benefited the developing world in numerous ways. As information has become more available to these countries, they have been able to create economic growth through innovation. However, globalization also presents new challenges to countries seeking to become more involved in the international economy. One such problem is the failure of international law to prevent patent theft and the leakage of trade secrets in the sphere of technological development. An example of this occurrence is the intellectual property dispute history between the United States and China. President Trump’s administration recently accused China of stealing patents and other private information from American tech businesses. The U.S. government recently blocked the Chinese purchase of Qualcomm, a telecommunications company out of fear that it would reveal American tech secrets. However, intellectual property theft is not always so clear-cut. American companies seeking to involve themselves in Chinese markets must often surrender significant technical secrets if they wish to set up operations in China.

Although Idris does not oppose the developmental benefits of the sharing of information between countries, he does identify piracy and counterfeiting as negative consequences of the spread of intellectual property. In order to combat the risks of these consequences, countries must employ and develop protections, including a sector of intellectual property professionals and the building of an intellectual property infrastructure to combat intellectual property theft. Professor Kamil Idris also argues for the reform of international agreements on intellectual property, so that poorer countries are not left behind due to richer countries’ control of patent purchasing. In order to stay relevant and competitive in international markets, Professor Idris concludes that there must be a greater focus on education relating to intellectual property topics.