For the second year in a row, India has maintained the upward trajectory in the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index ranking. In the latest edition of the International IP Index, India’s rank moved up to 36 among 50 economies - jumping eight places - as against 44 in 2018.
India’s overall score in the seventh edition of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center’s (GIPC’s) annual International IP Index has increased substantially to 16.22 (out of maximum score of 45), against 12.03 (out of 40) in the sixth edition. The latest report, Inspiring Tomorrow, analyses the IP climate in 50 world economies, based on 45 indicators critical to an innovation-led economy.
A GIPC statement said the improvement in India’s performance reflects important reforms implemented by Indian policymakers toward building and sustaining an innovation ecosystem for domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors alike.
“India’s performance on the Index finely captures the Government of India’s incremental, consistent initiatives over time to improve the country’s IP ecosystem, guided by the vision of the 2016 National IP Rights Policy,” said Patrick Kilbride, senior vice-president, GIPC.
Kilbride said the improvement in India’s performance is a result of specific reforms, including its accession to the WIPO Internet Treaties, the agreement to initiate a patent prosecution highway with international patent offices, a dedicated set of IP incentives for small businesses, and administrative reforms to address the patent backlog. “All of these enhance India’s competitiveness in research & development-intensive industries,” he added.
Patting the Narendra Modi government’s pro-IP policies, the GIPC release said these initiatives have the potential to transform the government’s programmes such as ‘Accelerating Growth for New India Innovations,’ ‘Startup India’, and ‘Digital India’ to economic reality. “It presents an objective, data-driven view of competitiveness in a global market, based on criteria used by the business community when determining where to invest,” the release added.
Despite India’s improved show in this year’s Index, the report noted there were still substantial challenges regarding the country’s patenting and IP enforcement environment. These included barriers to licensing and technology transfer, strict registration requirements, limited framework for the protection of biopharmaceutical IP rights, patentability requirements outside international standards, among others.
Commenting on the enforcement environment, the report noted that rights holders continue to face challenges in enforcing their IP rights in India. “India has high rates of substandard and counterfeit medicines, online and physical piracy, and counterfeiting. One area of growing concern has been the long pendency times in the Indian court system,” the report added.