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Intellectual Property in an Innovation-based Economy

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image of Review of Central and East European Law
For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

The process of transformation into an innovation-based economy has had a considerable impact on the intellectual property (IP) system. IP has become an integral part of innovative processes. These developments have led to changes in IP concepts. The authors argue that the notion of IP must include both legal (IP as rights) and economic (IP as an asset) aspects. The balance between different kinds of IP (copyright, related rights, industrial property) within innovation processes should be reviewed in order to acknowledge the rightful place of copyright as the core of IP and IP culture. Nevertheless, the major tools for enhancing innovation are still based on industrial property. The role of IP in different kinds of policy documents should be increased.

In order to fully exploit the potential of IP, it is necessary to enhance the development of supportive infrastructure for the utilization and commercialization of IP (intellectual infrastructure). Such infrastructure should support the functioning of IP systems, identifying new knowledge and transfering knowledge from entrepreneurial universities to industry. Raising public awareness about practical aspects of IP and fostering IP competencies are of paramount importance. Teaching IP at universities and adopting university IP policies form an important part of this process.

According to the vision of the authors, a basic course on IP should be taught at every university to all students. Specialized IP courses should be part of the curricula at the faculties of law, economics, engineering, biology, philosophy, etc. The authors outline the Estonian experience with regard to these issues.


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