chapter  5
16 Pages

Intellectual Property: America’s Competitive Advantage in the Twenty-first Century

Three forces reshaped the U.S. economy during the 1980s--globalization, the creation and application of new technologies, and the shift to a knowledge-based economy. By looking at the historic role of intellectual property rights in U.S. economic growth, one can see not only that an ability to create and adapt has always been the driving force in the U.S. economy, but that it will continue to be its strength in the future. This historical perspective leads to a fundamental conclusion: In the next century, U.S. economic growth and competitiveness will largely be determined by the extent to which the United States creates, owns, preserves, and protects its intellectual property, and the extent to which the federal government can foster economic growth by creating incentives for private sector investment in research and development, promoting stronger intellectual property protection abroad, reducing barriers to trade and serving U.S. business interests throughout the world.