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On Innovation superhighway: India jumps 8 places in Intellectual Property ranking

Sajan C Kumar
international Intellectual Property Index, foreign investors, India, GIPC, WIPO Internet Treaties

Reflecting the important reforms implemented by the country s policymakers towards building and sustaining an innovation ecosystem for domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors alike, India has climbed eight places up in the annual International Intellectual Property (IP) Index which analyses the IP climate in 50 world economies. The seventh edition of the index shows India jumping eight places in the ranking from 44th of 50 economies in 2018 to 36th in 2019.

The US, the UK, Sweden, France and Germany are the top five in the Index. The report by the US Chamber of Commerce s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) ranks economies based on 45 unique indicators that are critical to an innovation-led economy supported by robust patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets protection. India s overall score has increased substantially from 30.07% (12.03 out of 40) in the 6th edition to 36.04% (16.22 out of 45) in the 7th edition.

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This time, the index included four new indicators on commercialisation of IP assets and market access that shed light on factors that either disrupt or facilitate technology transfer in global markets, such as barriers to technology transfer, registration and disclosure requirements of licensing deals, direct government intervention in setting licensing terms and tax incentives for the creation of IP assets.

In an e-mailed response to FE, explaining the India aspects, Patrick Kilbride, senior vice-president of GIPC, said for the second year in a row, India s score represents the largest gain of any country measured on the index, which covers over 90% of the global GDP.

Rising up eight places in the ranking, India is largely a story of possibility. The increase is a result of specific reforms, including its accession to the WIPO Internet Treaties, the agreement to initiate a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with international offices, a dedicated set of IP incentives for small business and administrative reforms to address the patent backlog, he said.

The index provides both an IP report card for the world and a blueprint for policymakers in countries like India, who wish to bolster economic growth and jobs, innovation and creativity. The US Chamber while acknowledging India s steps in the past to improve the national IP environment noted that efforts continued in 2018 and progress has been made on several important areas measured by the index. It highlighted India s efforts to align and incorporate IP environment with the international IP system.

According to an index document, India had announced in August 2018 that the application backlog had been reduced. For patents, a significant decrease from over 2 lakh pending applications in March 2017 to just over 1.5 lakh applications by end of June 2018. For trademarks, a backlog of over 4.5 lakh applications remained.