Entrepreneurs Celebrate #WorldIPDay: Strong IP Frameworks are Critical to Startups and Small Business Growth

By at 26 April, 2018, 3:17 pm



Washington, D.C. – Today is World IP Day, an annual event to educate citizens and government leaders about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.  For entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as those who hope to start a business someday, strengthening IP rights is a key piece of the policy ecosystem that must be pursued and protected in order to encourage more startup activity and small business growth. That is why IP has remained a priority issue for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

See the global letter of support for World IP Day signed by SBE Council and our allies across the world here.

“Inventions, ideas, creative works, innovations, and the investment of time and capital that bring these to the marketplace is the special sauce for strong economic growth.  A robust IP framework that enables individuals to take risks and benefit from their investment of ideation, time and capital is foundational to a dynamic and competitive economy. Strong bipartisan support from our elected officials to protect IP at home and abroad, and a growing awareness of the importance of IP across the globe is all good news for global entrepreneurship and a better quality of life for everyone,” said SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

According to Kerrigan, solid progress has been made globally on the IP front, but there is more work to be done especially where counterfeiting and IP theft is prevalent. For example, President Trump’s recent actions on tariffs against China in response to IP theft highlight the challenging work ahead in this particular country. Kerrigan also noted that the re-negotiation of NAFTA provides the U.S. and our trading partners with an opportunity to update the agreement with strong IP protections.

“Trade agreements are the perfect platform to prioritize IP rights and protections and to clarify how these will be enforced. Every trade agreement must embed an IP provision or chapter. A modernized NAFTA must include strong IP protections,” said Kerrigan.

The United States, while ranking in the top spot globally on protecting IP, saw some slippage in the category of patents (ranking 12th), according the U.S. Chamber’s 2018 Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) annual index.  A key reason why SBE Council supports the Stronger Patents Act of 2017.

Kerrigan applauded actions taken by the Congress in recent years to strengthen IP in the United States. For example, in 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act; border enforcement has been strengthened through the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act; and this week the House passed the Music Modernization Act of 2017.  SBE Council supports, or has supported, all of these efforts.

Congress also has the opportunity to address loopholes in the U.S. postal system, which allow counterfeits and dangerous drugs to enter into the country unchecked. On April 25, the House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Trade, addressed this issue in a hearing where Kerrigan submitted a letter-for-the-record urging Committee members to support the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Protection Act (STOP ACT), H.R. 1057 and S.372. The legislation would require shipments from foreign countries delivered through our postal system to provide advanced electronic data (AED), which identifies the sender, recipient and contents of a package – a requirement that private shippers must currently abide by.

Kerrigan applauded President Trump’s focus on protecting and strengthening IP at home and across the globe.

“Through action and by elevating the importance of IP in high-level discussions and through various proclamations, President Trump has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting American IP. Our hope is that this leadership continue in NAFTA re-negotiations and future trade agreements,” added Kerrigan

Read SBE Council’s latest book on IP, Unleashing Small Business Through IP, online for free here.


Karen Kerrigan


SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil


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