The US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (“GIPC”) has recently released its 2018 Intellectual Property Index (“IPI”) in February 2019. India has improved on its previous 2017 position of 44 in 2017 and now ranks at number 36 out of 50 countries. Countries are ranked annually by the GIPC based on their trademark, patent, copyright, and trade secrets protection policies. India’s score represented the largest jump amongst the major global economies measured on the index.
The index ranks countries based on 45 parameters which are based on innovativeness and national IP climate. It has been reported that India’s overall score increased significantly from 30.07% (12.03 out of 40) in the 6th edition to 36.04% (16.22 out of 45) in the 7th edition.
It is pertinent to note that with such jump in ranking, India is making genuine attempts to protect intellectual property in terms of copyrights, trademarks, and patents specifically for computer-related innovations.
Examples include India’s accession to the World Intellectual Property organization (WIPO) Internet Treaties, the agreement to initiate a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the Japanese Patent office, facilitating IP incentives through various government programs such as Startup, Make in India, etc. for promising businesses and its efforts towards streamlining and digitizing the IP filing and prosecution process.
The IPI mentions that such a development in the Indian system “reflects important reforms implemented by Indian policymakers towards building and sustaining an innovation ecosystem for domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors alike.”
Although the report highlights some allegedly problematic issues, it also suggests that if India can overcome such obstacles with respect to patent eligibility and enforcement, it can be a role model for other developing countries to follow.
Innovations and creativity are of no use if the patent owner cannot get an assurance that its patent rights are protected by the State through adequate law enforcement. The recent efforts undertaken by the Indian Government provide hope that its position in the IPI will improve in the coming years.