Intellectual property law is one of the fastest growing fields of law worldwide. This unprecedented, rapid evolution and the accompanying massive upsurge in the use of the intellectual property system had four main triggers-- the advent of the Internet (to many, the heart of the digital revolution); unprecedented advances in science and technology; the emergence of intangible assets, such as knowledge, information and innovation, as the main drivers of economic development; and the growing interdependence of nations resulting from the internationalization of commerce. Of these, the digital revolution alone has had a profound effect on all aspects of the creation, protection, and use of intellectual property. Trillions of dollars are forecast to change hands in electronic commerce transactions, most of which have an intellectual property component, spotlighting the key contribution of intellectual property law in securing the commercial viability of innumerable industries, employing millions of people and generating revenues essential to the economic well-being of Nations. The increasing prominence of intellectual property considerations in this, and many other areas, has given additional weight to the recognition by economists that the way in which a Nation uses intellectual property to capture the value of the creativity and innovation of its people and convert it into concrete economic assets, is part of the answer to the riddle of why some countries prosper while others do not. In a world marked by huge material disparities, intellectual property is a means by which individuals, companies of all sizes, universities and other research institutions, and economies at the local, national, and regional levels can empower themselves to compete more effectively in the international marketplace. Wielded in the correct way, intellectual property can be used as an effective power tool to help build sustainable economic growth. These factors have not only propelled intellectual property to the forefront of policy-making circles generally, but they have forced the intellectual property law community to re-think established paradigms. The debate and discussion that flow from publications such as the Fordham International Law Journal and its series of issues-related books are the seedbed for new ideas and approaches that are indispensable in ensuring that the intellectual property system continues to grow and adapt in a way that fosters the creativity and innovation that is the springboard of economic growth and social well-being, while serving the public good within a rapidly changing technological environment.
26 Fordham Int'l L.J. 209
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol26/iss2/1