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THE ORANGE ECONOMY – WHERE CREATIVITY IS AN ECONOMIC ASSET

orange economy

THE ORANGE ECONOMY – WHERE CREATIVITY IS AN ECONOMIC ASSET

Our economic potential is limited only by our collective imaginations – the right hemisphere of our brains applied to both creative and quantitative endeavors.

Orange, the Color of Creativity

You’ve heard of the green economy and the blue economy. Now, researchers are taking a closer look at the so-called “orange economy”. With no set definition, the core of the orange economy encompasses a wide array of cultural and creative goods and services from architectural design and performing arts to film, games, fashion, music and video games.

Creative goods and services include art you can hang on your wall, print newspapers and crafts, but also works that are “experienced” such as gastronomy and live music. Beyond the physical realm, they include gaming apps on your phone, advertising on TV, and streamed movies. The infrastructure that supports our interaction with creative goods and services are also part of the orange economy, such as stadiums, fiber-optic networks and museums.

Capturing the Value of Creative Output

A 2015 analysis by Ernst & Young presented in their report, Cultural times, attempts to quantify the value generated by cultural and creative industries in the orange economy. It suggests the global industry generated $2.25 billion in revenue, supporting 29.5 million jobs in 2013. At the time, the creative economy exceeded the value of the global telecoms services industry and the entire GDP of India – and this was before the digital streaming boom.

Value of Creative Industries
The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than one-third of global sales and 43 percent of jobs associated with cultural and creative industries. Visual arts and television broadcasts accounted for nearly 40 percent of the value generated by the industry and 35 percent of jobs. Other parts of the industry such as newspapers and book publishing employ more people but generate less revenue.

The report credits cultural and creative output as driving the online economy’s rapid growth. Sales of e-books, music, videos and games generated $66 billion in 2013. Content sales in turn drove sales of digital devices and subscriptions to online media and streaming platforms and the advertising on them. Ernst & Young estimates creative content yielded $22 billion in advertising revenues in 2013 for online media and free streaming websites such as YouTube.

These figures have probably grown exponentially in subsequent years. Consumer appetite for greater bandwidth and faster networks available on smart, portable devices appears insatiable, and the figures do not include billions in online ticket sales for performances, or all the additional revenue and jobs accruing to creative professional service providers such as digital advertising and media agencies.

Beyond the numbers, nurturing talent in the cultural and creative sector is important to economic development and growth. The industry is characterized by relatively fewer barriers to entry and digital opportunities now abound for creators to grow their business by acquiring a global reputation and audience. Cultural and creative industries tend to employ more youth and women and can offer more flexible work environments.

For example, American artists are 3.5 times more likely to be self-employed than U.S. workers overall. On the downside, many of the associated jobs are gigs – or temporary work – and remuneration might rely heavily on acquiring and asserting intellectual property rights. Without sustained work that is well compensated, creative and cultural work may fail to provide a source of reliable and adequate income.

A Culture of Trading

The beauty of trade in creative goods and services is the ability to enjoy tremendous cultural diversity, ingenuity, and have shared experiences as a global community. When K-pop and K-beauty burst on the scene, everyone could dance Gangnam-style or slather snail slime on their face. Beyond the cultural enrichment, policymakers have noticed the boost to the GDP bottom line of exporting cultural and creative offerings.

The UK is known for world-famous video games. One of its most notable exports is Grand Theft Auto 5, the fastest-selling video game of all time, which grossed $1 billion worldwide in its first three days. The UK government launched a $6.2 million Prototype Fund to help video game start-ups and pledged another $6 million to support a Skills Investment Fund for training in this and other creative sectors.

Canada has long offered tax credits to attract film and video production. An Ontario Music Fund provides grants to address investment gaps in its live and recorded music industry.

Latin telenovelas and music attract global audiences. The many World Heritage sites in Latin America built upon ancient Inca, Maya or Aztec civilizations are magnets for tourism exports (when visitors spend money in your country), supporting both local and national economic development while sharing the region’s rich cultural history.

Orange stroke of paint

Modern and traditional African art, sculpture and music hold wide appeal and are featured in global concerts and festivals. Nigeria’s government supports its film industry (“Nollywood”) which has become the country’s second-largest employer, generating export earnings and tax revenues.

Deploying a different model, Dubai in the UAE has created a cottage industry of hosting international cultural events, boasting the region’s largest indoor exhibition space. The UAE also opened the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2016 to serve as a focal point for contemporary art in the Middle East and invested $136 million in the Museum of the Future, which showcases futuristic inventions but is also positioned as an incubator for global design innovation.

Colombian President Iván Duque even campaigned on supporting growth of creative industries and set a goal of expanding production and exports to grow Colombia’s orange economy from 3.3 percent to 10 percent of Colombia’s GDP, putting it roughly on par with the manufacturing industry. He held an auction during which more than 320 investors bid on $124 million of “orange bonds” issued by Bancóldex backed by a triple-A rating.

Getting Paid for Creativity in the Orange Economy

To enable these industries to thrive, governments must shore up their legal frameworks to protect cultural and creative intellectual property from theft. Goods and services in the creative economy usually hold a distinct intellectual property claim, so that when an author or creator exports it, they retain some form of ownership on which to compensate them for use or enjoyment of the work. A developer in the Ukraine or Colombia, for example, would be entitled to receive a royalty each time their copyright-protected and licensed software is downloaded anywhere in the world.

Simply having appropriate intellectual property laws on the books, however, will not be sufficient to protect many creative works. In a survey by the Inter-American Bank, just 34.8 percent of creative entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean had made some effort to register their rights to intellectual property or obtain a copyright. Of the total of entrepreneurs, 17.4 percent responded they had not done so because they considered it “very expensive,” and another 16.4 percent said they did not know the procedures for getting the registration.

Although the survey was limited to one region, this is likely a familiar refrain globally, including in the United States where creators are familiar with rights available to pursue but find it too costly to obtain representation and navigate complex intellectual property laws. In some industries, creator organizations such as collective management organizations (CMOs) in the music industry, help overcome such challenges by manage licensing and distribution of royalties and remuneration to its member artists. More could be done by governments to help their creators avail themselves of intellectual property protections.

IP in LA for Creatives

An Infinite Economic Asset

Protecting author and creator rights is critical to fuel industry growth and provide returns to authors and creators, particularly as digital platforms expand. Although such platforms enable them to reach global audiences, creators must adopt new business models and strategies to monetize amidst a sea of free content on internet intermediary platforms. Another challenge is that such platforms remain immune from liability despite hosting entities that traffic in products that violate copyright and other intellectual property rights protecting their creative goods and services.

It should also be mentioned that when it comes to cultural and creative experiences, digital and virtual are not forcing the extinction of an analog experience. Before COVID-19, New York City’s Broadway was achieving record sales. World class museums like the Guggenheim and cultural zones like West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong attracted their share of visitors. The Comic Market in Tokyo still drew global fans of Japanese manga and anime.

my visual

Put On Your Thinking Cap

Creativity is rapidly becoming a condition for competing in the globalized economy. It has become among the top ten skills sought by employers. The application of creativity is not limited to cultural goods and services. Scientific creativity drives the pursuit of new ways to study, experiment and resolve societal problems. Creative thinking is applied to design new products, new production processes and commercial practices.

Ernst & Young analysts point out that the world is young – and that young population is increasingly literate, has more means and a global outlook. If policymakers view creativity as a significant economic asset, and nurture and protect it as such, countries can leverage creative output to support jobs and growth.

And – if we can manage to protect freedom of expression and the ability to trade in cultural and creative works – we can simultaneously promote cross-cultural experiences, preserve traditions and heritage, and celebrate diverse aesthetics, which might just make our world more civilized.

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Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

taiwan

Taiwan Takes Business Back: Examining the Shifting Landscape and What it Means for International Trade

In an exclusive Q&A with Dr. Richard Thurston – former Senior Vice President at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd, and “Of Counsel” with Duane Morris, LLP in New York, we take a closer look at the current international trade climate as Taiwan’s efforts to re-shore impact current trade relations while exposing a significant need for bilateral trade agreements and the need to improve opportunities in workforce development. Dr. Thurston walks us through what to expect in the near future as Taiwan takes businesses back from China.

What major advantages are gained by Taiwan reshoring? What risks are associated with this move?

Dr. Thurston: There are several main drivers behind Taiwan’s reshoring of Taiwan businesses from China. First, U.S. geopolitical issues, such as Taiwan companies avoiding US tariffs on China-originated products. Taiwan companies are facing a lot of pressure there.

Second, the protection of the supply chain, not just the supply chain for Taiwan’s consumer product companies, but that of other companies such as Apple, Google, and the whole range of high-tech companies. Thirdly, avoidance of both U.S. criticism, and, more importantly, of potential. U.S. penalties, fines, exclusion orders, etc., relating to possible export control violations. Finally, the Huawei issue. Overall, the challenges are much broader than trade secret protection, driven by U.S. desire to keep actual products incorporating certain advanced technologies from getting into the hands of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Those factors, along with growing demands for international diversification, are complimented by Taiwan’s corporate concerns over ongoing health, safety, and welfare of their staff and managers working in China. One other motivation of Taiwan’s Government is to bring back to Taiwan experienced talent that had left over the last decade (which had created a great hollowing out of Taiwan’s technological and other capabilities).

On that last point, do you see a reverse effect happening in the workforce going back to Taiwan and aiming efforts on workforce development for the tech industry, or are you anticipating a completely different landscape overall?

Dr. Thurston: Previously, a much different environment existed, where there were two key drivers behind the movement to China that started when President Ma Ying-jeou took over the political reigns. One of the key factors he had in mind was to access the sizable but elusive China market. The Taiwan market of 24 million people is not large enough by itself, to sustain market growth driven by technological innovation. Second, access to talented human capital. A serious Taiwan problem exists because the STEM  (science, technology, engineering, and math) talent pool has continued to dry up in Taiwan. This has been a huge issue faced by TSMC and other technology-driven companies. So, President Ma wanted to access a culturally comparable talent pool as well as to lower costs for land and raw material supply. Finally, the KMT wanted to use Taiwan’s trade and investment in China to neutralize China’s threat against Taiwan independence.

How can Taiwan continue dominating the IP (intellectual property) sector by reshoring? And does this have any impact on its current practice?

Dr. Thurston: Taiwan has had a lot of difficulties in the IP area, and part of it is related to what I just talked about, the significant decline in the STEM talent pool. If you look for other issues, a major one is that Taiwan (because of its political position arising from China’s position against them) is not a member of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), and is not a participant in the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and therefore, there are significant barriers against becoming a predominant IP source.

But more importantly, with the exception of a few companies like TSMC, most Taiwan companies continue to operate in the mindset of OEM and ODM companies. That mindset focuses on a slim profit margin. Therefore, they do not truly incorporate intellectual property into their overall strategy because it is expensive to promote and protect IP.

This is very relevant for many companies, especially in some of the new sectors, such as biomedicine, aerospace, clean energy, Big Data and AI labs. For example, Taiwan companies are still reluctant to establish a robust trade secret program. Although the Taiwan government has done a lot for enacting trade secret laws and litigation in its courts, many companies take inadequate measures to protect this most important IP asset and thereby, diluting its IP leadership. While there has been improvement, it has been slow because IP is still not viewed as a key to profitability. The government has been trying to improve that attitude in its companies through its intellectual property laws, so we will see. For now, I think the lack of sufficient and sustainable STEM talent, which affects directly leading-edge creativity and innovation, is a core challenge.

Taiwan is extremely important to the U.S., both commercially, with respect to its supply chain, and defensively, with respect to maintain open and safe sea and air links. What is further of concern is that the U.S. still does not have a bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan. This limits the ability of the free flow of information, business, and protections to Taiwan businesses and U.S. businesses operating in and with Taiwan.

During 2019, Taiwan’s efforts to attract its businesses back to Taiwan, and the short-term assistance it is providing to respective land acquisition and operational subsidies, has generated 160 new projects. Companies have most definitely returned from China to Taiwan. But, the question remains: is that sustainable? That issue will hurt Taiwan along with the declining birth rate out there. The innovation advantage that Taiwan has had in the past may well be limited in the years ahead unless Taiwan shores up its bilateral trade and investment relations with the U.S.

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Richard L. Thurston, Ph.D. is Of Counsel at international law firm Duane Morris where he practices in the area of intellectual property law from its New York and Taipei offices. Prior to joining Duane Morris, Dr. Thurston was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd., where he was also Chief Proprietary Information Officer (Trade Secrets) and Corporate Compliance Officer.

Kuwait Under Scrutiny for IP Rights Violations

Washington, DC – The U.S. moved Kuwait a notch higher on its Watch List of countries to monitor for potential breaches of U.S. patents, copyrights and other intellectual property (IP) rights.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Kuwait had failed to introduce a copyright law in line with international standards and to properly protect copyright and trademarks.

According to the USTR, the status of copyright legislation in that country “hampers the market environment for intellectual-property-intensive industries.”

Kuwait’s “lack of sustained enforcement action” against trademark infringement is another reason for the priority-watch designation, he said.

The U.S., Froman added,  is “encouraged” by reported recent progress on enforcement against copyright infringement, by the country’s recent accessions to several intellectual-property-related treaties and seeks to “engage Kuwaiti authorities on these issues in the contest of the long-standing cooperation” between the two countries, according to the statement.

“The U.S. remains concerned about the lack of sustained enforcement action against trademark infringement and the lack of progress in passage of updates to Kuwait’s copyright legislation, which hamper the overall market environment for intellectual property-intensive industries,” he said.

Kuwait will join 10 countries, including India and China, on the “Priority Watch List,” one rung higher than its current status.

More often than not, say observers, a place on the list signals a higher level of scrutiny and diplomatic pressure to bring policies into line.

11/14/2014

 

Segway Inc. Targets Transporters from China

Bedford, NH – Segway Inc. has filed a major patent case against imports of personal transporters from a number of Chinese companies in Beijing and Shenzhen.

The company is alleging that the personal transporters from China “infringe its utility and design patents” in a complaint that could, according to one source, lead the International Trade Commission (ITC) to issue a ‘general exclusion order,’ prohibiting not only all personal transporters from China, but from any country, as well.

“This patent case will be a very visible high tech case brought by Segway against Chinese imports of Segway like personal transporters,” said William Perry, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney.

The company “is also asking the ITC to issue cease and desist orders to prohibit US importers from selling any infringing imports that they brought into the United States,” he said.

Segway is requesting a general exclusion order to exclude all personal transporters from China and other countries and also ‘cease and desist’ orders to stop importers from selling infringing personal transporters in their inventories.

The complaint filed with the ITC lists at least six manufacturers and three distributors that Segway claims are infringing two patents related to the transporter controls, and two for the design of the machines.

The manufacturers named, the complaint says, “intend their products to largely, if not completely, mimic Segway’s personal transporters in operation.”

The manufacturers named in the complaint include Shenzhen Inmotion Technologies Co., Robstep Robot Co. and Ninebot Inc., all of which claim they independently developed their own ‘self-balancing’ transporters without benefit of Segway’s patented technology.

Should Segway win the case, the government could block the competing products made overseas from the US market.

US inventor Dean Kamen introduced the Segway in 2001. His company was eventually acquired by Summit Strategic Investments in 2013.

09/17/2014

Tips On Stemming the Flood Of Counterfeit Goods

Los Angeles, CA – Despite significant government efforts, China remains the world’s primary source of counterfeit goods, constituting 84 percent of shipment seizures in the US in 2012.

Experts, in fact, predict that the online trade of counterfeit goods in China will surpass the physical trade of such goods in the next two to three years.

The problem seems too vast and overwhelming to surmount, however, says Bob Youill, senior managing director in the Global Risk and Investigations practice of New York-based FTI Consulting, “doing so will never be easy, but it can be done” if companies take the appropriate steps.

In an article published this week in the FTI Journal, Youill, an acknowledged authority on product piracy, makes several suggestions on what US-based exporters, importers, retailers and manufacturers can do to stop the production, distribution and sale of counterfeit goods.

First, he says, declare your intellectual property. An effective anti-counterfeiting strategy for China, he says, “begins with begins with registering the relevant intellectual property rights in China, as Beijing doesn’t automatically recognize IP rights registered overseas.”

That done, writes Youill, “quantify the risk to your brand with in-house counsel working directly with key stakeholders to review the company’s markets inside and outside China and organize those markets into those that must be protected and those that are less important to focus on.”

Next, it needs to be understood that the primary responsibility for managing counterfeiting will rest mostly with in-house counsel and will involve representatives from different corporate functions, including a PR lead, external consultants, and internal stakeholders. To achieve that goal, “build your anti-counterfeit team.”

When considering tackling organized counterfeiting operations, a “best course of action” should be strategized that carefully analyzes various tactics that could include ‘street sweeps,’ Customs watches, administrative action, and civil or criminal proceedings.

Lastly, says Youill, “There are a number of risks to manage when dealing with Chinese authorities, such as controlling sensitive corporate information, fulfilling government requests for documents, overseeing internal reporting and complying with reporting rules. So, learn how to work with them.”

08/15/2014

 

Texas-based SoftServe Acquires German Software Developer

Austin, TX – Global software application developer SoftServe Inc. has acquired UGE UkrGermanEnterprise GmbH, a German company specializing in high quality individual software development, business software solutions, and IT consulting.

The acquisition represents SoftServe’s continuing commitment to serve the growing needs of the European market with best-in-class technology solutions and applications.

UGE UkrGermanEnterprise GmbH offers a comprehensive suite of nearshore outsourcing services from developing complex solutions to individual tailored software needs.

Additionally, UGE GmbH “provides highly skilled development teams and IT consulting on site or remotely,” SioftServe said in a statement.

Based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, UGE UkrGermanEnterprise GmbH provides high quality software solutions to their customers in banking, insurance, industry and public services industry sectors.

The company’s services range from the design of webpages via the development of web based applications up to the implementation of big and complex software solutions  The company’s list of clients includes Panasonic, Sanyo, Commerzbank, and GFT.

07/03/2014