Israel is finally off the USTR’s “Special 301” list.
(The Special 301 list identifies countries that do not provide "adequate and effective" protection of intellectual property rights or "fair and equitable market access to United States persons that rely upon intellectual property rights.)
For many years the Israeli government, under pressure from Teva (Israel’s “national champion” in pharma), pursued a misguided resistance to bringing their national IP regime into full compliance with its WTO obligations.
But in recent years the mood has been shifting as more policy-makers woke up to the fact that you can have thriving generics manufacturers and a thriving innovative biopharmaceutical industry. IP, after all, is the cornerstone to a thriving life sciences industry.
According to Israel’s Minister of Economy, Naftali Bennett, "We've shown maturity and responsibility in one of the most significant areas to international trade as we have committed, and I believe that the important vote of confidence in the U.S. and recognition of the strength of the intellectual property regime in Israel, will assist us in maintaining Israeli industrial development and dissemination of knowledge, innovation and capabilities to many countries.”
Globally, every nation that’s home to a robust innovative life sciences sector offers strong and (in many cases) improving IP environments. If Israel wants to maintain its competitiveness, it needs to be competitive in IP.
Israel now has an IP sector worthy of its potential in the high value added IT, Life Sciences and other high value-added, knowledge intensive sectors. Mazel tov.
At a time when certain circles in India, South Africa, and Brazil are arguing to weaken their national IP standards, Israel has taken a significant step to secure its place in the winner’s circle.
It’s time to add a gold IP star to the Star of David.