Radio spots to highlight value of intellectual property protections in new economy

The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) recently launched a pilot radio campaign to increase awareness about the importance of strong protection of intellectual property in today’s dynamic economy.

“For 200 years patent and copyright laws have promoted basic fairness and said, ‘Go out and make your dreams a reality.’ We’ve all been rewarded, and today we need to keep protecting our intellectual property to keep building our dreams,” states Bruce Lehman, president of IIPI, at the end of the radio spots.

Lehman, a former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, says that the Institute has received preliminary support from Time Warner, Inc. and the Walker Digital Corp. to expand the effort. “These companies, like many in our economy, simply could not exist without a healthy system of intellectual property protection fueling their activities.”

“The U.S. system of patent and copyright protection has responded well in the past to changing environments: the industrial revolution, polymer chemistry and later software patents. Now it is adapting to changes such as Internet business methods, genomics and bio-informatics, which are a natural evolution of invention and innovation in a world where ideas are increasingly the fuel for productivity.”

Recent legal cases involving Napster, and State Street Bank and Trust Co. have prompted discussion about the role and readiness of an old system in the new context of the digital age. Though much of its work has focused on assistance to developing countries, the two-year old Institute initiated this campaign to promote public awareness of intellectual property in the United States, where the economy is increasingly reliant upon ideas and information, rather than products.

“Patent and copyright protections support innovations that would have been inconceivable to previous generations,” says Lehman.

The two 60-second radio spots will air on Washington, D.C.-area stations (WTOP-AM, WMAL-AM, WGMS-FM) through September 22, 2000.