Welcome to the
International Trade and
Intellectual Property Forum
(IT/IP Forum)

The IT/IP Forum was founded to study the intersection of international trade and intellectual property law, policy, and commerce in the global economy.  In recent years it has become fashionable to speak of "globalization" and to note its manifold manifestations:

Russian CokeNo matter where you go, you are bound to find a bottle of Coca-Cola for sale.  Multinationals peddle their wares on large billboards from Times Square to Red Square.  Millions of people from Canada to Chile listen to music on iPods.  Callers are more likely to speak to a customer service representative in a foreign country than their own.

Many employers have moved factories from Western nations to developing countries.  At the same time, large conglomerates from developing countries are purchasing Western companies and expanding their operations around the world.

ImageThe Euro, a currency that did not exist 20 years ago, is worth more than the U.S. dollar and has the highest combined value of banknotes and coins in circulation.  In 2009, more cars were sold in China than in the United States.

WTODozens of free trade agreements (FTAs) and hundreds of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have been concluded in recent years.  Myriad organizations and regions have proposed or are enacting plans to integrate national economies, emulating the success of the European Union.

In sum, the popular conception of globalization is belied by the reality of international trade.

Despite the setbacks of the Great Recession, we are moving inexorably toward the formation of a global economy.  The question is, what kind of global economy will be built?
  Several models of economic development exist in the world, premised on varying understandings of the desirability of government/state interference in economic and corporate management and decision making.  The IT/IP Forum was founded on the following core tenets:

(1.) Private enterprise is the foundation of economic development.

(2.) Governments and international organizations (e.g., European Union, WTO) can play a constructive role in economic development by setting the parameters for economic development (roles) and enforcing the rules.  Also, by providing public benefits like roads and funding high risk research that may yield incalculable benefits for the public.

The IT/IP Forum opposes state-directed economic development.  However, at the same time, the IT/IP Forum believes that government can play a constructive and essential role in enabling private enterprise and development.  In addition, government can fund endeavors that offer high rewards but that carry high risks that the private sector considers too risky, such as basic scientific research, space research, public benefits, interstate highway system, Autobahn, high speed trains, the Chunnel, airports, etc.

The form of the global economy will have incalculable and inevitable impacts on human freedoms, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom to use the Internet, freedom of religion, etc.

The International Trade and Intellectual Property Forum (IT/IP Forum) is a nonprofit organization comprised of people in the private sector, public sector, and academia in the United States and around the world.  We believe that the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights increases global prosperity and enhances economic development.  We also believe that there are few effective mechanisms for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, and to the extent there are effective mechanisms, they are poorly understood.  Finally we believe that international trade is a promising avenue for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, reforming existing mechanisms to remedy their deficiencies, and creating new mechanisms on the national and supranational levels.


International Trade and Intellectual Property Fourm