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International IP Index 2019

Topics Covered:

  1. IP related issues.


International IP Index 2019


What to study?

  • For Prelims: About the IIP Index and performance of India and its neighbours.
  • For Mains: Performance analysis of India and challenges ahead, measures needed to ensure transparency and enhance protection.


Context: The International IP Index 2019 has been released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC).


What is IIP index?

Released by GIPC, the Index evaluates the IP infrastructure in each economy based on 45 unique indicators, which are critical to the growth of effective IP systems.

The indicators encompass 8 categories of IP protection: patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, commercialization of IP assets, enforcement, systemic efficiency, and membership and ratification of international treaties.

The 2019 Index demonstrates the close correlation between effective IP protection and economic growth, global competitiveness, and the creation of 21st century knowledge-based economies.


Performance of India and the factors responsible:

  • India is placed at rank 36th this year. In 2018, India was ranked 44 out of 50 countries. In the first edition of the report in 2014, India had ranked last in the ranking of 25 countries.
  • Among major global economies, most substantial movement can be seen from India, which has surged almost 20% and climbed eight places in the IP Index rankings from 44th to 36th.
  • The increase in India’s ranking is a result of specific reforms that better align India’s IP environment with the international IP system, including its accession to the WIPO Internet Treaties, the agreement to initiate a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with Japan, a dedicated set of IP incentives for small business, and administrative reforms to address the patent backlog.


Challenges ahead for India:

The improvement is a “real accomplishment” but substantial challenges persist, particularly regarding the country’s patenting and IP enforcement environments.

  • The weakness of India as highlighted in the report are barriers to licensing and technology transfer, including strict registration norms, limited framework for the protection of biopharmaceutical IP rights, patentability rules outside international standards, lengthy pre-grant opposition proceedings and previously used compulsory licensing for commercial and non-emergency situations as key hurdles.


The need for protection of IP rights:

  1. Intellectual Property Creates and Supports High-Paying Jobs.
  2. Intellectual Property Drives Economic Growth and Competitiveness.
  3. Strong and Enforced Intellectual Property Rights Protect Consumers and Families.
  4. Intellectual Property Helps Generate Breakthrough Solutions to Global Challenges.
  5. Intellectual Property Rights Encourage Innovation and Reward Entrepreneurs.


Sources: the hindu.


Mains Question: “To realise the twin dreams of ‘Innovate in India’ and ‘Make in India’, the government needs to build a competitive, thriving environment by prioritising scientific research with a strong intellectual property (IP) system.” In the light of the statement critically analyse nature of India’s present IP regime, the changes it requires and its importance to India’s economy.