Transforming the Conditions for Indigenous Innovation

William Kingston


Ireland joined the international patent system in 1925 in total ignorance of its implications, and this membership has done very little for indigenous innovation. India refused to join, which enabled its own firms to become significant international  players in several fields, especially generic drugs. The contrast with the foreign-owned Irish pharmaceutical industry, facing decline as its patents expire, is stark. The government’s adoption of a simplistic linear model of innovation, in which public money put into university research was supposed to result in valuable patents, high-tech firms and jobs, has also been a grave disappointment. Ground could be made up by adopting direct protection of innovation (DPI). The theory for this was developed in EU-commissioned research, now proved by empirical results. This paper discusses practical arrangements for DPI in Ireland, as well as a proposal for enabling Irish firms engage in effective litigation to protect their patents in the United States.

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