India has "increased substantially" its score in the latest international Intellectual Property (IP) index released by the US Chambers of Commerce on Thursday, ranking 44th out of 50 countries.
India's overall score has increased substantially from 25 per cent (8.75 out of 35) in the 5th edition of the Index to 30 per cent (12.03 out of 40) in the 6th edition, according to the annual report prepared by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce.
Despite an improvement in the score, India continues to remain towards the bottom of the ladder. It now ranks 44 out of 50 countries.
Last year, India ranked 43rd out of 45 countries in the index, with an overall score if 8.4 points.
India's ranking, the report said, reflects a relatively strong performance in the new indicators as well as positive reform efforts on patentability of computer-implemented inventions (CIIs) and registration procedures for well-known marks.
The US tops the list with 37.98 points, followed by United Kingdom (37.97) and Sweden (37.03).
The annual report notes that India in July 2017 issued 'Guidelines on the Examination of Computer-Related Inventions' which significantly improved the patentability environment for technological innovations.
Additionally, the government created IP awareness workshops and technical training, programmes for enforcement agencies, implementing key deliverables of the National Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Policy.
"However, India's score continues to suggest that additional, meaningful reforms are needed to complement the policy," the report said.
In what is otherwise a very challenging environment for IP rights holders, India has demonstrated a long-standing and clear commitment to increasing awareness of the importance of IP rights and respect for creators and innovators, it said.
However, India has a long way to go, the report noted.
Among key areas of weaknesses are 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 nonemergency situations; limited participation in international IP treaties and no participation in international PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) tracks.
"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," said Patrick Kilbride, vice president of GIPC.
"Several factors figure into the improved score. India passed guidelines to strengthen the patentability environment for technological innovations, improved the protection of well-known marks, and initiated IP awareness and coordination programmes, thereby implementing some tenets of the 2016 National IPR Policy," he said.
"However, additional, meaningful reforms are still needed to incentivize domestic innovation, attract foreign investors, and improve access to innovation," Kilbride said.
The report analyses the intellectual property (IP) climate in 50 world economies based on 40 unique indicators that benchmark activity critical to innovation development surrounding patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets protection.