Lauding the technological innovation of Tata's small car Nano, a top US official has said this made in India car has set a new standard for low cost vehicles.
"The $3,000 Nano developed and manufactured by India's Tata Motors has set new global standards for low-cost vehicles," the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment, Robert D Hormats, said on Thursday.
In an op-ed in the Huffington Post, Hormats cited Nano as a prime example of innovations used for affordable things for the masses.
"Innovation is not limited to the developed world. "Increasingly, innovative ideas and products originate in emerging markets where there is a growing number of research centres, innovative scientists, and highly entrepreneurial businesses," he wrote.
Stating that Tata Motors has filed many patents associated with the design of the Nano to protect its research and development investment, Hormats said there should be incentive to develop new products.
The incentive to develop new products and invest in companies that commercialise those inventions and creative works depends on intellectual property (IP) rights, he said.
"This holds true for small businesses and large multi-national corporations, in developed countries and emerging economies as well as some of the world's poorest countries, where innovation is also occurring at a rapid pace," he said.
Governments must therefore protect IP rights in order to support visionary innovators from within their own borders and throughout the globe, Hormats wrote.
The top US official said the Internet, social media, and new mobile phone applications afford an opportunity to collaborate and innovate on a previously unimaginable scale.
"But unless governments support the open and free exchange of ideas and reward risk-taking through protection and enforcement of IP rights, innovation will be stifled before it begins.
"Ideas from all sources must be allowed to compete, and those that succeed must be fairly rewarded," he said.
"This is the basic recipe for an innovative economy, and it is the basis for America's economic success--and indeed that of other nations---over the past two centuries.
"Emerging economies will need to emulate this formula to sustain their dynamism," he wrote.