The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the 4th edition of its International Intellectual Property (IP) index on February 10th, with a promising title – Infinite Possibilities. The Index provides economies with a comprehensive road map to harnessing the benefits that robust IP systems provide, which create limitless possibilities to attract investment and fuel economic competitiveness.
The Index maps the IP environment in 38 economies (additional 8 added this year), based on 30 measurable criteria indicative of a strong IP system, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks protections, enforcement, trade secrets and market access, and engagement in international treaties.
The 38 economies account for nearly 85% of global gross domestic product (GDP). The United States again scored the highest, with Venezuela, India and Thailand coming last.
The closer the score to 30 points (red to yellow color scheme), the more robust country is in the IP area (see the interactive map here).
Many countries have shown significant improvements through investments into innovations compared to last year’s results:
- The Indonesian government created an online notification system for rights holders to request action against alleged infringing websites.
- In Israel, a new Index economy, 2014 reforms significantly enhanced the environment for patent protection. In particular, a patent restoration for biopharmaceuticals and regulatory data protection for submitted clinical data.
- Malaysia’s IP environment has improved gradually over the past four years, resulting in a cumulative increase in the country’s score. As a TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) negotiating partner, the IP standards within the agreement—once ratified and implemented—will further strengthen Malaysia’s IP environment.
On the other hand, many countries have still a lot of work to do to improve their IP environment. Brazil, China, Russia, and Indonesia are undermining their overall innovation ecosystem with policies tying market access to sharing of IP and technology, and by enforcing localization. But also high-income western European countries are facing challenges, especially in copyright protection due to absence of policies to more effectively fight online piracy.
Despite United States being on the top of the overall rank, there is still room for improvements. Especially in enforcement area, where it is ranked fifth, due to trade secrets theft and counterfeit seizures.
The index is not only a summary of a findings but it also demonstrates the benefits of a strong IP environment. It includes six new correlations between strong IP rights and socio-economic benefits, and also updates statistical information for 13 of the correlations from the previous edition of the Index. The new correlations include:
- Access to finance: More robust IP environment attracts more venture capital and private equity funding.
- High-quality human capital: Countries with stronger IP protection have on average 2.5 more research & development focused employees among their workforce.
- Foreign direct investment attractiveness: Economies with robust IP systems receive on average a 45% higher Standard and Poor’s credit rating.
- Inventive activity: The top 10 economies in the Index show patenting rates more than 30 times greater than the Index’s bottom 10 economies.
- Advanced technology markets: People and firms in economies scoring above the median level of the Index are 30% more likely to enjoy access to the most recent technological developments.
- Streamlined and enhanced access to creative content: Advanced and easy-access delivery of streaming services is 3 times greater in economies scoring above the median level of the Index, than in those scoring below the median, while access in the top 5 economies is up to 25 times greater than in the lowest 5.