Professor Kamil Idris is regarded as one of the most knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to intellectual property laws. He recently talked about the challenges and opportunities in regards to these laws and globalization and their effects on both developed and developing nations. He said that there are a number of challenges but also that globalization has helped both types of nations thrive with developed nations being able to have more exported goods and developing nations being able to get cheaper goods while leaving money in their pockets for other uses.
He used to be the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Professor Kamil Idris says that intellectual property helps everyone as ideas, information, and knowledge are what drive forward economic growth. Some of the challenges, though, is that the theft of intellectual property and other trade secrets has become rampant in some parts of the world. He brings up the recent example of the United States blocking the Chinese government from buying the tech firm Qualcomm.
China is well-known in the international community for not respecting intellectual property. Professor Kamil Idris says that the reason their government was blocked from buying Qualcomm was that if the deal had happened then China’s government would have had access to a lot of the U.S.’s technology secrets. He has said that intellectual property theft costs the U.S. up to $600 billion annually with theft by the Chinese accounting for quite a bit of that number.
For years China has required that any company that wants to enter their markets must give up a big part of the intellectual property in order to do so. Professor Kamil Idris says that companies like Twitter and Facebook are required to work with the Chinese government before their services can be used in that nation.
As one example he brought up “Colorful Balloons” which is a photo-sharing app developed by Facebook. In order to develop this app Facebook was required to provide intellectual property to a Chinese software development firm so that they could program this app. Other examples Professor Kamil Idris brought up were Patriot Missiles, military vehicles, and even the Space Shuttle.