There has been a marked improvement in India’s score in the US Chamber of Commerce’s latest edition of the International IP Index. However, placed at 44th position, India figured among the bottom 10 of the 50 economies that were part of the annual study. The report ranks economies based on 40 indicators that benchmark activity critical to innovation development surrounding patents, trademark, copyright and trade secrets protection. India’s overall score was 12.03 out of 40 in the latest edition. This represented the largest percentage improvement of any country measured. India had a score of 8.75 (out of 35) in the previous edition last year. Commenting on India’s performance, Patrick Kilbride, vice-president, Global Innovation Policy Center, noted: “This is further evidence of a country on the move.” The report said several factors figured in India’s improved score. “India passed guidelines to strengthen the patentability environment for technological innovations, improved the protection of well-known marks and initiated IP (intellectual property) awareness and coordination programmes, thereby implementing some tenets of the 2016 National IPR Policy,” said Kilbride. In July last year, India issued guidelines on the examination of computer-related inventions.
This significantly improved the patentability environment for technological innovations, the report observed. Additionally, the government created IP awareness workshops and technical training programmes for enforcement agencies, implementing key deliverables of the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy, the report said.The government has addressed issues around patent pendency, appointing 459 additional patent examiners. Procedural reforms have been undertaken to expedite trademark backlogs and expanding the list of well-known trademarks. However, the report pointed out that additional reforms were needed to complement the IPR policy. “Much work remains to be done to introduce transformative changes to India’s overall IP framework and take serious steps to consistently implement strong IP standards,” the report said. Limited framework for protection of life sciences IP, patentability requirements outside international standards, lengthy pre-grant opposition proceedings, previously used compulsory licensing for commercial and non-emergency situations and limited participation in international IP treaties were among the key weaknesses in the Indian IP environment, the report said. In fact, India scored a blank on the parameter involving membership and ratification of international treaties. The five new countries covered in the latest edition included Costa Rica, Ireland, Jordan, Morocco and the Netherlands. A significant feature is the addition of two categories of parameters, commercialisation of IP assets and systemic efficiency. Source: US Chamber International IP Index 2018 Source: US Chamber International IP Index 2018 Source: US Chamber International IP Index 2018