“Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined”
The United States and Brazil have much in common: we are the Western Hemisphere’s largest democracies and economies, we believe in human rights and freedom of expression. As we recently celebrated World Intellectual Property Day, I will add that Brazilians and Americans are intensely creative, and that digital technologies give us powerful new ways to produce and distribute content within and between our countries. This not only delights consumers in both countries, but also spurs innovation and quality employment within U.S. and Brazilian companies.
World Intellectual Property Day is an initiative of the World Intellectual Property Association (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations. The theme this year is “Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined,” an exploration of the future of cultural content in the digital age: how we create it, how we access it, how we finance it, and how a flexible intellectual property (IP) system helps ensure that artists and creative industries are properly paid for their work, so they can keep creating.
To me, digital creativity means using new technologies to develop something innovative, for example mobile apps to combat fisheries depletion. It also involves using modern information and communications technologies, principally the Internet, to distribute this content.
Digital creativity is vitally important to social inclusion as well as global economic growth, including the jobs created in the United States and Brazil.
Creative sectors in Brazil – including digital media and audiovisual production – account for 3% of gross domestic product and information and communications technologies (ICT) an impressive 9%. This strong showing has been boosted by significant increases in Internet connectivity and usage, with 58% of the population now active users. More connectivity means more access to content, more economic growth, and more quality jobs.
However, growth in connectivity also spurs the proliferation of piracy. Around the world, illegal online streaming and other forms of IP piracy unfairly divert rewards from IP owners to criminals. Similar problems exist in physical goods industries such as autos and advanced manufacturing, where counterfeit components enter supply chains and create risks to our safety. Not to mention the pharmaceutical market, where counterfeit medications can kill users.
The United States and Brazil have a shared interest in strengthening our IP regimes in order to grow our economies and support the rule of law. Over the past year, the U.S. Embassy facilitated dozens of IP workshops and symposiums for Brazilian law enforcement officials and other audiences across the country, and four Brazilian IP delegations visited the United States. The U.S. pharmaceutical and bioengineering sectors – which are able to invest and take business risks thanks to IP protections – are helping in the Zika fight, by quickly working to develop new rapid tests and a vaccine against the virus. And the United States and Brazil earlier this year launched a pilot Patent Prosecution Highway program, a work-sharing initiative that aims to reduce wait times for review of patent applications and improve the quality of their examination at our respective patent offices. These efforts are implemented jointly and designed to benefit consumers and companies in both countries.
World IP Day is a celebration of the impact of innovation, which is powered by contributions from across our societies. By jointly championing digital creativity, the United States and Brazil can spur more innovation, more consumer options, more jobs, and more productivity. A U.S.-Brazil digital partnership benefits this region and far beyond. From our young people in schools to senior engineers in high-tech labs, the United States and Brazil are creative partners for the long run.
More information on World Intellectual Property Day:
More information on the U.S. government’s IPR work:
- Multiple departments: http://www.stopfakes.gov/
- Department of State: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tpp/ipe/index.htm
- Patent and Trademark Office: http://www.uspto.gov/
- Patent and Trademark Office contact info in Brazil: http://www.export.gov/Brazil/contactus/index.asp
- Department of Homeland Security: https://www.ice.gov/iprcenter
- Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ccips
- Library of Congress: http://www.copyright.gov/
- White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/intellectualproperty
- Office of the Trade Representative: https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/intellectual-property