Kamil Idris is a Sudanese native and graduated from the University of Khartoum with a degree in law. He would go on to earn his PhD in international law from Geneva University in Switzerland.
A former director for the World Intellectual Property Organization, (WIPO), Professor Kamil Idris, believes that intellectual property (IP) is an important tool for all countries, particularly in an economic context.
In an article on medium.com, Professor Idris writes that the tariffs announced by President Trump earlier this year to Chinese goods will amount to about a $50 Billion hit to their economy. Research by the United States estimates the cost of IP theft to the American economy has been between $225 million and $600 billion.
In invoking Section 301, an amendment last updated in 1984 which gives the president the power to impose trade sanctions against any country that fails to provide adequate protection of IP rights. Some experts have voiced concern that they may spark an international trade war.
President Trump did not include Mexico and Canada in these tariffs, but his recent announcement hinted that he could impose the same sanctions upon U.S. allies at a later date.
Intellectual property theft as an indirect result of globalization can be seen in the prevalence of piracy and counterfeiting worldwide, as well as a backlog of patent applications.
When asked which parts of the US patent system Professor Idris felt could be looked at more carefully, he answered that it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the national patent law of any particular country. “The reform of the US patent system is something for U.S. decision-makers to decide.”
Professor Kamil Idris believes that the ongoing reform of the patent process in the U.S. will result in a patent system that best suits the country’s needs and expectations.
President Trump has made no secret in the past of his favor of protecting U.S. jobs and exporters of U.S. goods, so where these tariffs will lead and how they will affect IP Rights globally remains to be seen.