Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, Inc. (PIIPA) is an international nonprofit organization that provides pro bono intellectual property (IP) legal counsel to governments, businesses, indigenous peoples, and public interest organizations in developing countries that seek to promote health, agriculture, biodiversity, science, culture, and the environment.
The modern economy is a knowledge based economy which relies not only on physical property rights but also on intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights are exclusive rights over creations of the mind. These include inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. The world economy has come to depend on IP goods – from software and pharmaceuticals to cell phones, traditional knowledge and genetic resources. In many ways, intellectual property rights play a similar role to physical property rights. Secure intellectual property rights create incentives for innovation just as secure property rights create incentives for production.
Intellectual property laws, like all legal systems, work best when everyone has opportunity to access the legal system and receive the protections of these laws. The problem is that only a fraction of the world’s population currently has the knowledge and/or means necessary to access the intellectual property legal system and use these laws.
PIIPA was created to address the intellectual property inequities that exist in the global economy.