The Issue

Technology invention is an indispensable component of today’s innovation economies. However, technological research and development implies high risks and uncertainty: significant up-front investment is required, global competition is intense, prototypes often need to be developed for new ideas to be taken seriously, multiple failures usually precede success (if any) and, when a superior new technology is invented, it can be copied by free-riders.

Some policy-makers may misunderstand this reality. Prejudice and misperception is impacting decisions about intellectual property (IP) frameworks and could potentially weaken innovation economies. Without efficient IP protection, the risks associated with invention will outweigh the gains, and venture funding, entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation will drastically slow down.

Through fact-based research and education, 4iP Council seeks to improve policy makers’ understanding of how innovation happens.

4iP is particularly concerned about policies that:

  • Intervene in technology markets by promoting one business model or discriminating against others
  • Restricting the ability of patentees to seek to enforce their patents through regulatory sanctions
  • Impose antitrust liability or obligations on the basis of the patent rather than on an effects-based assessment
  • Oblige patent owners to license on successful technologies at government determined prices
  • Promote regulatory intervention in voluntary standardisation
  • Do not acknowledge or does not encourage WTO principles

4iP believes these policies discourage investment in research and development and, thus, invention in Europe.

The policy areas 4iP is working on are:

  • Patent and competition law
  • Technology and technology policy and regulation
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Research and development policy
  • Industrial organisation and management
  • Trade and foreign direct investment
  • Public procurement

Through commissioning empirical research and by giving technology inventors a collective voice, 4iP broadens the basis on which policy decisions are made.