World Intellectual Property Report 2015


March 17, 2016, 12:15 PM to 1:30 PM EDT
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC
Carsten Fink (World Intellectual Property Organization) and Lee G. Branstetter (PIIE)

Event Summary

Carsten Fink, chief economist of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), presented the 2015 edition of WIPO's annual flagship publication, the World Intellectual Property Report, on March 17, 2016. Institute Nonresident Senior Fellow Lee G. Branstetter examined the findings of the WIPO report in the context of debates surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the conflicting economic priorities of the North and South hemispheres.

This presentation is part of the Institute's ongoing work on productivity, global investment, and the long-run prospects for growth in the global economy. The 2015 World Intellectual Property Report, against the backdrop of the disappointing growth performance following the global financial crisis, examines how breakthrough innovations come about, how they spur growth, and what role the intellectual property system plays in this regard. The report analyzes three historical breakthrough innovations—airplanes, antibiotics, and semiconductors—and three current areas of innovation with breakthrough potential: 3D printing, nanotechnology, and robotics. It compares the innovation landscapes associated with these breakthroughs and distills lessons about what makes for successful innovation ecosystems.

Carsten Fink is the chief economist of WIPO, based in Geneva. Before joining WIPO, he was professor of international economics at the University of St. Gallen. He has also been visiting professor at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris, visiting senior fellow at the Group d'Economie Mondiale, and has worked for more than 10 years at the World Bank.

Lee Branstetter, nonresident senior fellow at the Institute, is professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He served as senior economist for international trade and investment at the Council of Economic Advisers in 2011–12. He also served as associate editor of the Journal of International Economics from 2003 to 2011.