According to Kamil Idris, former director general of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), for development to continue, proper safeguarding of the drivers of economies is necessary. In this age of technology and globalization, international development has undergone remarkable changes, especially between developed and developing countries. To increase relevance and harness the power of these components, intellectual property rights are a key to tapping their power while at the same time keeping the drivers of creativity intact in areas such as trade, art, literature, science, food, and health. Intellectual property rights of inventions and industrial products can help firms to gain competitive advantages over their products spurring more growth.
There is, however, a grey area as identified by Professor Kamil Idris concerning privacy issues such as backlogs for patents and counter fitting. He says that piracy and counterfeits pose a threat to intellectual property, recommending for more resources and focus to be aimed at intellectual property human resources and capacity building.
Applications of patents take some time even in developed countries leaving a significant loophole at the global level. This can lower the incentives of developing countries from taking part in such a system. Kamil Idris, a Sudanese national says that limited resources and training means that some countries, especially in Africa, lag behind in technology. Organizations such as WIPO have done their best to provide affordable services in developing countries especially in getting patent approval.
With on 2% of patent applications coming from Africa, Kamil Idris observes that these nations with time will be disadvantaged by power imbalances with little ownership and profits from original ideas. For instance, in the pharmaceutical field, firms claim international property rights for medications and drugs in the treatment of various illnesses. If foreign companies were to deny affordable medications such as those of HIV, developing populations would be at a disadvantaged position.
He recommends that African traditional knowledge is developed along relevant technology lines, and be patented to counter the troubling trend. This is because foreign companies use traditional African knowledge to develop and patent innovations and products that never come back to benefit the African people. Kamil Idris is a Sudan statesman, international civil servant, and scholar. He holds a PhD in International Law from the University of Geneva, an LLB from Khartoum University, and from Cairo University a BA in Philosophy, Political Science, and Economic Theories.