Innovative and creative activity on a socially transformative scale relies on strong policies on intellectual property (IP). It’s thought that global counterfeiting has more than doubled since 2008, amounting to $461 billion annually. With this backdrop, the fifth annual international IP index, “The Roots of innovation”, from the US Chamber of Commerce rates 45 world economies on patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, enforcement, and international treaties.
The world’s leading economies view intellectual IP standards as essential to the success of any 21st century economy. It provides the living and growing roots that stimulate innovation and bolster growth. And those with the strongest IP systems stand to reap the greatest economic rewards.
The economies benchmarked in the 2017 index account for 90 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). The index offers a roadmap for policymakers and thought leaders to enhance their competitiveness through stronger IP. It is a playbook for those looking to attract the world’s best and brightest talent and companies.
- A pack of global IP leaders emerged among the 2017 Index rankings, with the US, UK, Japan, and European Union (EU) economies ranked more closely together than ever.
- A number of countries, ranging from China and Pakistan to the UAE and Sweden, introduced new enforcement mechanisms and specialized IP courts to better combat counterfeiting and piracy.
- Free trade agreements (FTAs), including the TPP and the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), were signed in 2016, as well as a number of bilateral FTAs that helped raise the bar for protection of life sciences IP, copyrighted content online, and enforcement against IP theft.
- Multiple governments undertook a review of their IP laws, recognizing that such laws must keep pace with the emerging challenges IP owners face. In South Korea, amendments to the Patent Law helped streamline and expedite the patent examination process. Likewise, the government of Taiwan began a review of its IP laws, in an effort to better comply with the standards included in the TPP.
- Economies recognized the value of leveraging international partnerships through Patent Prosecution Highways (PPH). Countries that signed PPH agreements in 2016 include Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
And some countries took steps to restrict IP rights:
- Ecuador, Russia, and South Africa introduced new requirements for local production, procurement, and manufacturing.
- While the Indian government issued the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy in 2016, IP-intensive industries continued to face challenges in the Indian market with regard to the scope of patentability for computer implemented inventions, Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act, and the High Court of Delhi decision regarding photocopying copyrighted content.
- A number of governments attempted to limit the scope of patentability via both judicial decisions and legislation. While the Canadian government continued to apply the heightened patent utility standard, the Indonesian Patent Law introduced a heightened efficacy requirement for patentability and outlawed second use claims.
- Both individual governments and representatives of the multilateral institutions encouraged public officials to utilize compulsory licenses and expanded exceptions and limitations in the name of increasing access. In Colombia, the government threatened to use a compulsory license in an attempt to drive down the price of innovative medicine, while in South Africa draft copyright amendments proposed the introduction of a fair use system.
In the index, economies are scored against six categories of IP protection: patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and market access, enforcement, and ratification of international treaties. The 2017 index includes five new indicators to better capture an economy’s overall IP environment in a continuously evolving digital age. Additionally, it now includes an analysis of the standards included in the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement and the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) against the benchmarks included in the Index.
To view a global interactive map showing each country’s ranking, click here.
To view the full 148 page country-by-country report, click here (PDF file).