The US Chamber of Commerce on Thursday released the latest international Intellectual Property (IP) Index, ranking India 44th out of 50 countries. For those who are not aware, it is a US lobby group which ranks countries depending on their intellectual property friendliness (patent, copyright, and trade secrets protection) to innovation based global corporations.
US ranks first with a score of 37.98 followed by the UK (37.97) and Sweden (37.03). India’s score has increased considerably from 25 percent from the fifth edition (8.75 out of 35) to 30 percent in the sixth edition (12.03 out of 40).
As per the annual report by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), India issued the ‘Guidelines on the Examination of Computer-Related Inventions’ in July 2017 which immensely improved the awareness for getting patents for innovations. The Government also made efforts to increase the awareness about IP by organizing workshops for enforcement agencies, technical training and implementing the National Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Policy. The report also said that India has shown a commitment to increase the awareness about the respect for innovators and significance of intellectual property rights.
However, the report also noted that India has a long journey ahead. In spite of considerable improvement in the score, India remains at the bottom of the ladder. Last year, India ranked 43rd out of 45 countries in the index in comparison to this year when the ranking is 44th out of 50. The report identified some the key areas of weakness, such as limited framework for protection of life sciences IP; patentability requirements outside international standards; lengthy pre-grant opposition proceedings; limited participation in international IP treaties and no participation in international PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) tracks.
India’s increased ranking shows a comparatively strong performance in the new indicators but meaningful reforms are the need of the hour.
The Vice President of GIPC, Patrick Kilbride, said, “For the first time, India has broken free of the bottom ten per cent of economies measured, and its score represents the largest percentage improvement of any country measured. This is further evidence of a country on the move.”