The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) today released its International IP Index, “Inspiring Tomorrow,” which assesses the intellectual property (IP) environments of 50 world economies. Covering all forms of IP, the report highlights movement in almost half the Index economies over the last year.
Over the past year, IP has taken center stage in international key trade discussion. The ongoing trade dispute between China and the U.S. brought much-needed attention to long-standing challenges that are holding back global investment in IP-intensive industries. Additionally, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) laid a foundation for 21st century IP protection in free trade agreements. The agreement included a number of beneficial provisions, including 10 years of regulatory data protection for biologics, criminal sanctions for trade secrets theft, and ex officio border enforcement for counterfeit goods in-transit.
“The USMCA raised the bar for IP enforcement and protections in North America,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of GIPC. “The agreement lays the foundation for IP chapters in future trade deals with Japan, the UK, and the EU, allowing innovators and creators to prosper around the globe. When innovators succeed, countries succeed. Governments with strong IP systems foster greater innovation and creativity and position themselves to better compete at the highest levels for global investment, talent, and growth. Likewise, the countries that weakened on IP protection should reverse course. We encourage policymakers around the world to use this report as a roadmap to improve their IP standards in order to reap the economic rewards that effective IP systems provide.”
The U.S., UK, several European economies, Japan, and Singapore remain atop the global IP rankings, with the United States seeing a slight increase in its overall lead.
“One area of improvement in the U.S. is patent predictability, where the USPTO has taken positive measured steps moving the United States up from 12th to tie with 10 other economies in second place. We welcome this progress and will continue to work with all parties to ensure the United States recognizes high-quality patents and provides needed predictability and certainty to innovators from all industries” added Patrick Kilbride, senior vice president of GIPC. “The shift from 12th to second reflected a modest course correction that enhanced certainty around the inter partes review (IPR) process. Addressing lingering questions of patent eligibility in a balanced forward-looking fashion would further cement U.S. innovation leadership.”
The 2019 Index also shows progress in developing countries. While there is still much room for continued improvement, India experienced its second consecutive year of growth in the IP global ranking, jumping eight places from 44th to 36th. In Latin America, Mexico and Argentina’s overall scores increased substantially as a result of positive IP reforms, signaling a rising focus on global competitiveness in the region.
As in years past, the Index showed a direct correlation between strong IP protections and economic advancement. David Hirschmann noted, “When countries invest in more effective IP frameworks, the economic benefits are far-reaching. The Index illustrates that countries with robust IP systems are more likely to experience increased global trade and investment, greater R&D activity, and stronger global competitiveness. When a country invests in IP, it invests in new, limitless possibilities to inspire their technology, workforce, and economy of tomorrow.”
The Index covers 50 economies, representing 90 percent of global GDP. It includes Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam. The economies are each assessed on 45 indicators across eight separate categories.