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Intellectual Property (IP) is our chance to drive positive change

Picture of "Elise Melon"
Posted by
Elise Melon, Global Legal Affairs Policy & Strategy Operations

Every year, World Intellectual Property Day is the opportunity to celebrate one of the many contributions IP brings to our lives, and specifically this year, to our sustainable development ambition, and ultimately to a better world, through innovation.

This ambition was captured in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the heart of this agenda: 17 goals representing our aspirations or a common, peaceful and prosperous future; 17 goals towards which we should all take action.

The challenges the world is facing behind these 17 goals are increasingly complex and interconnected, so much that they require us to be creative and innovative, in the way we think, act, and critically, in the way we work together and partner to address them.

Too often, IP and development have been pictured at opposing ends. I would argue exactly the opposite: IP and development go hand-in-hand. As Daren Tang, WIPO Director General said it, "IP is the vehicle to turn ideas into impact" and the report recently published by WIPO perfectly illustrates the positive impact of patents in advancing global sustainability efforts, across diverse technology landscapes.

This is particularly true in the biopharmaceutical sector: IP is our chance to contribute advancing towards a more sustainable future, through innovation.

This is not a surprise to us: it is our deep conviction that innovation is critical to progressing on the Sustainable Development Agenda, towards a better, healthier future, for all. That is why, at UCB, our business approach is rooted in innovation and sustainability. Our sustainability ambition is not "on top of", it is at the core of our strategy. We aspire to create meaningful and long-lasting value for patients, now and into the future, and we are convinced we can only do so through a genuine holistic approach to improve health in society.

It means we aim to create value not only for people with severe diseases, but also for our employees who discover, develop and deliver patient solutions, for the shareholders who invest in our company and fund our work, for the communities where we live and work, while minimizing our impact on the planet which is our shared home.

This integrated approach to drive sustainable growth guides how we do business, with future generations in mind. It also guides our IP strategy, as reflected by our founding role and commitment to the IP PACT.

The circle connecting IP to innovation to SDGs and ultimately, a better common future for all, is a virtuous one - let's celebrate it today and partner to make it stronger tomorrow.

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