In Heidi Harris’ article “Intellectual Property in the Digital Age, with Kamil Idris on the pitfalls of Globalization”, the author discusses the changes that technology is making to the global trade world. Globalization is changing the rules, and paired with technology, there are pros and cons. While technology is allowing for innovation, it also is exposing a grey area to the ownership of ideas and how to protect them. Intellectual rights are important for protecting innovation, but they also have allowed countries with more power and wealth to secure large amounts of the market. This disparity and lack of regulations, will likely need to be reexamined as technology continues to progress.
DKamil Idris, the former director of the WIPO in Geneva, says that globalization has created a boom in the export markets, and along with this, the number of patents has also skyrocketed. This has opened new doors for intellectual theft, counterfeiting, and piracy. Also, a gap between developing countries and wealthy countries has increased with the allocation of patents. Many countries, mainly in Africa, have fallen behind. Currently the WTO is talking about evolving the laws and practices involving intellectual property in a global scale, and it is likely necessary.
Idris has been important to bringing attention to these issues through the World Intellectual Property Day on the 26th of April. Another agreement is the WIPO copyright agreement, it was drafted in 1887 during the Berne convention, and looked to protect artistic and scientific ideas. Every country that signed it has been obliged to adhere to it, and its likely this agreement should be evolved in the digital age. Another agreement, that is seen as the most comprehensive to date, is the The Agreement of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property. It looks on protecting property rights, and creating accountability in the world of free trade. In general, according to Idris, technology’s relationship to globalization, may change the paradigm of how we look at free markets and liberalism. New regulations and agreements will be necessary to account for this.