Capturing and preserving intangible sources of knowledge is an increasingly pressing concern in our world of rapid technological growth and constant information sharing. This capability is especially critical as markets become more globalized and more competitive. Intellectual property is the term used for any “patents, copyrights, and trademarks, which provide legal rights to protect ideas, the expression of ideas, and the inventors and creators of such ideas” (Brown 213). Intellectual property protection has traditionally been the focus of industrial trades like pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and computer science in which success depends largely on the ability to create and market new products ahead of competitors. But with increasing technological advancement and decreasing costs of development, almost all industries are driven to compete through innovation. Often times, however, fast-paced innovation parallels imitation. When a firm releases a new product, competitors are quick to manufacture and sell their own versions, differentiating themselves through selling at a lower cost, providing additional features and improvements to the original, or heavy advertising. How can firms determine when this type of replication is a legal violation of protected privacy and what can they do about it? The solution lies in intellectual property rights. This report will analyze the ways in which current intellectual property policies offer inadequate security in the contemporary international market. By applying US government, private sector, and socioeconomic perspectives, this paper will offer comprehensive evidence that intellectual property reform is needed as well as provide suggestions for such reform in federal administration, corporate markets, and society.
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