The US Chamber of Commerce this week released its
4th annual International IP Index. While the report
can hardly be taken as an impartial view on the state of the
global intellectual property landscape, it does give an insight
into how the US views different countries and some of the
changes that have been made in the past year.
The report is produced by the Chamber’s Global
Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), and can be viewed here.
The least-shocking news, given the source, is that the
United States ranks first in the list. Venezuela finished last
out of the 38 economies studied, which account for nearly 85%
of global gross domestic product (GDP).
The US believes half of the 38 economies benchmarked
strengthened their IP system. This improved their overall score
from last year’s Index. The index is based on 30
criteria including patent, copyright and trade mark
protections, enforcement, and engagement in international
"This year’s Index illustrates that many
countries embraced the upward momentum in the global
intellectual property environment, and continued to take steps
to improve their IP systems," said David Hirschmann, president
and CEO of GIPC.
Some examples of the positive momentum Hirschmann identified
include: Canada extending the copyright term for sound
recordings to 70 years from 50; Indonesia implementing
regulations for the 2014 Copyright Act that creates an online
notification system for rights holders to request action
against alleged infringing websites; Israel introducing patent
restoration for biopharmaceuticals and regulatory data
protection for submitted clinical data; and Malaysia gradually
improving its IP environment over the past four years.
The report also highlighted some economies the US Chamber of
Commerce believes have "ample room to improve their IP
- The report said a
number of economies, including Brazil, Russia, China, India and
Indonesia, introduced or maintained policies tying market
access to sharing of IP and technology.
- It said copyright
protection remains a challenge in many high income economies in
Europe including Poland, Switzerland and Sweden, particularly
in the absence of policies to more effectively combat online
- Australia weakened the
patentability of isolated-genetic material and biotechnology
inventions when the Australian High Court reversed the Federal
Court ruling in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics.
- The US Chamber of
Commerce believes Ecuador continues to actively pursue an
innovation policy that in large measure undermines or weakens
the protection of IP including the active use of compulsory
licences for biopharmaceutical products.
- The US’s
enforcement related to trade secrets theft and counterfeit
seizures remains a weakness.