My Cup Of Liberty

A report in BusinessWorld reiterated the value of IPR protection: “PHL remains out of US IPR watch list for 6th year’ (April 27, 2019)

“FOR the sixth straight year, the Philippines was not included in the US government’s watch list of countries with weak protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)… after being included from 1994 through 2013,” the report said in part.

The government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPOPHL) also announced in its website: “Finally, Philippines No Longer in the Notorious Markets List of the USTR” (April 25, 2019) — of which I quote in part, “After being on the list for the last six (6) years, the Philippines is completely gone in the list of Notorious Markets of the Office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) as reported in the Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets dated December 13, 2012.”

Good news then. Last week, April 26, was World Intellectual Property Day as declared by WIPO with the theme, “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports.”

Also that day, 77 independent think tanks and institutes (including Minimal Government Thinkers) from 39 countries signed the “Open Letter to WIPO Director General Francis Gurry,” initiated by the Property Rights Alliance (PRA, USA). The letter said:

“When IPRs are protected, markets are formed that encourage innovators to compete to make the next breakthrough product consumers demand — be it training equipment, a smart sensor, or a new media platform. In this way, athletes and innovative markets are sure to always go faster, stronger, higher! Neither innovation nor sport can exist without enforceable property rights.”

More IPR protection indeed facilitates and encourages more investments. Table below is constructed from three different sources: (1) International Property Rights Index (IPRI) rank: PRA’s IPRI 2018 Report, (2) Foreign direct investment (FDI) inward stock 2017: UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2018, and (3) Population 2017: IMF, World Economic Outlook 2019. The last column is derived by this paper.


Global ranking in IPR protection and innovation in East Asia

More property rights protection, more investments. Japan is the exception here because Japan is the main source, not destination, of FDIs in many countries abroad. On May 15, the Geneva Network (UK) will hold a one-day seminar and meeting of Asian free market think tanks, institutes and academics doing work on IPR protection and trade to be held in Kuala Lumpur.

And on May 24 or 25, PRA (US) will hold a side event on IPR and investment promotion in Sydney during the 17th meeting of the World Taxpayers Association (WTA) conference and the 7th Friedman conference by the Australia Taxpayers Alliance.

From the IPRI report, the per-capita income in countries with robust property rights protection is 20 times greater than those in countries with weak protections. The market-oriented reforms for efficiency (MORE) are to further strengthen private property protection, physical or intellectual — by legislation or executive action.


Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. is the president of Minimal Government Thinkers