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Report: IP protection boosts global economy

February 5, 2020

By Colin Mann

The US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) has released its eighth annual International IP Index, Art of the Possible, which evaluates how 53 global economies approach intellectual property (IP)—from patent and copyright policies to commercialisation of IP assets and ratification of international treaties.

The International IP Index creates a template for economies that aspire to become 21st century, knowledge-based economies through more effective IP protection. This year, US and European economies remained atop the global IP rankings, while many emerging markets also showed big improvements thanks to commitments to adopt pro-IP measures.

“Intellectual property continues to be a massive economic driver for jobs and investment. In the United States alone, IP supports more than $6 trillion in GDP, 81 industries, and more than 45 million jobs,” said David Hirschmann, President and CEO of GIPC. “To drive similar success at home, we encourage policymakers around the world to use this report as a roadmap to drive investment in cutting-edge sectors, as well as to access the world’s innovation and creative content.”

From the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to the US-China trade deal, the Index illustrates that trade agreements remain critically important to global IP standards.

“We have a good foundation through USMCA and look to build on it,” said Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer for the US Chamber of Commerce. “There are also some things we shouldn’t replicate. We didn’t fully achieve the protection for Intellectual Property that we hoped, particularly in new and emerging medicine. Advancing Canada and Mexico to US standards of regulatory data protection for biologics would have resulted in more funding for innovative medical research with no additional cost to US consumers.”

According to Bradley, the recent US-China Phase One agreement—if fully and faithfully implemented—promises to restore stability and improve the treatment of IP in China. “This agreement will help protect consumers across the globe by strengthening IP and enforcement and help address unfair practices, such as coerced technology transfer,” he asserted.

Looking forward, a prospective trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom, the top two ranked countries on the Index, raises hopes of setting a new, global gold-standard for intellectual property co-operation.

The Index notes that creators continue to face significant obstacles to securing effective copyright protection in global markets, with 33 of the economies benchmarked failing to achieve 50 per cent of the available score.

However, a number of economies took steps to bolster protection for copyrighted content online. Ecuador, Greece, India, Israel, and Peru utilised injunctive relief, anti-piracy legislation, or administrative orders to disable access to pirated content provided through copyright-infringing sites.

In Malaysia, the government used its broad authority to censor content to disable access to infringing content
provided through set-top boxes, which are an increasingly prevalent means to share pirated content throughout Asia.

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