In today's economic world - where technology and its impact on productivity are significant - intellectual property has acquired a great importance, since its role resides in stimulating the creation and development of new technological advances.

There are circumstances that differentiate the economic development in industrialized and developing countries. The first one of such circumstances would be the productive utilization of scientific and technological knowledge of each country, combined with individual's attitude to make an indispensable practice of it. This will also depend on an educative system that conforms rapidly to the development of scientific, technological, industrial and commercial research activities.

In industrialized countries, the knowledge generation dynamics flows towards productive sectors, who act as agents that transform it into goods and services, reintegrating part of the wealth they generate in order to carry out more research and technological development. In turn, in developing countries, knowledge databases rarely reach the productive sectors, thus stagnating the technological advance.

Such an advance (in terms of knowledge and inventions) is a process characterized by the basis of current knowledge and certain interactions with other knowledge basis. The products of these interactions are translated into technological innovations giving rise to problem solutions.

All nations may use the intellectual property system in order to achieve development, since creativity is exactly what achieves advances in science, businesses, technology and arts.

Since the economic increase engine is accumulation of knowledge, countries must effect strategic adjustments in their policies and normative frames in order to:

  • Assign a commercial value to knowledge resulting from Research and Development (R+D) activities,
  • Recognize knowledge as an exchangeable good,
  • Protect the intellect products to commercialize them, and
  • Create schemes to assure the investment return for R+D, from wealth generated by the outcomes of these activities.

Due to the importance of knowledge, intellectual property has become a fundamental element on business proceedings. Enterprises operating in any economy are required to carry out their activity in a context replete of competition, uncertainties and improvement demands, if they are willing to obtain and maintain a certain position within the market. They will assume from novelty, originality and innovation, the obtainment of a series of competitive advantages, otherwise, it will have consequences such as stagnation or backward step of economy, a reduction in creativity and inventiveness, and a business environment deprived of direct foreign investment, consistency or reliability.

Development of innovations implies a great effort to entrepreneurs, both from economic and human resources standpoint, since no entrepreneur would be prepared to invest his resources in the development of any invention, if it might be quickly copied by any person.

The concept of industrial property arises with the aim to avoid this type of situations. Through industrial property, the inventor or owner of a specific creation can protect the same in order for others not to be able to benefit therefrom.

Such concept, on the one hand, encompasses the existing technological information as a whole about the contents of documents related to inventions, such as patents and utility models, industrial designs (drawings and industrial models) and circuit layouts ( integrated circuit diagrams).

Being Industrial property a source of technological information, from which human and economic efforts may be applied, it is also a commercial activity protection tool through registrations of distinctive signs - trademarks and trade names - that contribute in distinguishing companies in the marketplace.

The spreading of industrial property and an appropriate use thereof will help to enhance the competitive level of companies. Aims to be attainted are: generation of wealth, employment creation, and in short, to reach the economic and social welfare required by the community. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to encourage the study of industrial property system through courses, seminars, scientific and technological displays that promote creative activities and knowledge of the system, in addition to identify organs who have the duty of informing on the matter.

Similarly, orientation and counseling services shall be offered to inventors (on invention matters) about the legal and technical requirements and administrative procedures to protect their creations. Conveying this actions to universities, research and development centers, productive sectors and users, may constitute a basic strategy to address material and human resources in developing technological information systems and offering quality services.

Encouraging an awareness of the intellectual property potential as a source of social, cultural and economic dynamism, is a way to guarantee that:

  • Government organs and authorities draw up administrative and proceedings programs and policies intended to optimize the use and respect of intellectual property rights.
  • Private sector - from Small and Medium Entities to multinationals - enhances the value of their intellectual property assets and recognizes the importance of assuring intellectual property rights in ever more knowledge-based economies and industries.
  • Public opinion understands the benefits obtained from the purchase of legal goods and services, which will serve to boost local industries, thereby increasing the tax base.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.