Ever since the onset of the Great Recession, the primary concern of most governments has been to accelerate domestic growth in a way that will increase employment. For example, there is no more anticipated economic data point than the US unemployment rate, published on the first Friday of each month. For the general public, the success or failure of many governments is the extent to which they can generate jobs in a sustained and substantial way. The primacy of economic growth, and its by-product —increased employment — threaten to place public discussion about IP in an awkward position. The reason is that there may no clear connection between enhanced innovation and IP activity and improved employment data. Instead, the benefits of cutting-edge IP may well be redounding primarily to the benefit of the few who are able to capitalize on the commercial success of their innovations, with little or no benefit to the overall employment situation. To the extent that this is true, arguments in favour of public support of IP rest on uncertain policy grounds.

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