5 lessons learned from the 2022 International Intellectual Property Index
If ingenuity is the door to the future, competition is the key.
Innovators and creators are constantly competing to deliver the best and brightest future. They race to create the solutions we need to address critical global challenges, like public health, cultural development, environmental sustainability and economic disparities. Intellectual property (IP) policies can spur innovators and creators or shut them down altogether.
Governments face a choice: they can adopt dangerous policies to roll back international and domestic intellectual property protections and deprive their economies of the many benefits of strong intellectual property ecosystems. Or, they can make conscious political decisions to invest in their IP framework until every individual with an idea has a fair chance to compete for leadership, success, and ultimately tomorrow.
The US Chamber International IP Index (the Index) shows that the choice is clear. Now in its tenth edition, the index compares the intellectual property framework in 55 global economies across 50 unique indicators. Furthermore, it correlates the intellectual property framework of an economy with its economic, social and cultural success.
Here are five key findings that legislators and stakeholders should consider when pursuing constructive programs that promote innovation and creativity.
1. The global intellectual property environment has improved over the past decade, but challenges remain as many economies still receive low scores in protecting intellectual property rights.
Since the first edition of the Index, the average overall score of economies has increased by 1.5% between 2012 and 2022. In addition, of the 53 economies featured in the ninth and tenth editions of the Index, 45 economies have increased their overall score. These improvements are most pronounced in the categories of patents and international treaties. Yet these improvements are not enough to achieve truly unbridled global innovation and creativity. As a result, the economy’s average overall score remains below 60%, a failing mark on most achievement scales.
2. Historically, many economies have struggled to provide adequate copyright protection as the growth and scale of online piracy has increased over the past decade. However, new tools to fight against online intellectual property infringements have helped to strengthen the protection of intellectual property owners.
Copyright assigns market value to everything from song lyrics, movies and TV shows to video games, books and paintings. Unfortunately, as more and more creative works are accessible online, more and more malicious actors are illegally and maliciously stealing and sharing copyrighted creative works. Fortunately, governments are fighting back. Economies at all levels of development – from the United States, United Kingdom and Sweden to India, Singapore and Russia – have used injunctive relief to disable access to infringing content. copyright online and are already seeing positive results. For example, in Sweden, survey results show that the number of respondents accessing copyright-infringing content online fell from 21% to 14% following the implementation of injunction-type relief.
3. However, the fight against intellectual property infringing physical goods has not kept pace with the increase in the volume of international counterfeit trade over the past decade.
Counterfeiters use a brand owner’s marks – such as a company name or logo – without permission to sell their products, which are often substandard and sometimes downright dangerous. In 2021, aggregate trade in counterfeit physical goods was estimated at just under $500 billion, or 2.5% of global trade. Yet despite the incredible scale of the problem, most of the economies studied in the index have not established agreed best practices to fight back. For example, only 27% of economies in this year’s index give customs officials the ex officio power to seize suspected counterfeit goods or the power to seize suspected counterfeit goods without a specific complaint, but rather with reasonable evidence. In addition, 29% of economies do not publish any statistics on the actions taken by their customs authorities regarding suspected counterfeit goods, making it difficult to measure efficiency and effectiveness.
4. IP-intensive goods and services were essential to the global response to COVID-19.
Intellectual property is at the heart of the solutions that have emerged to fight COVID-19, from cures like vaccines, therapies and medical technologies to connections like virtual meeting software and 5G. The index shows that it is no coincidence that these solutions come almost exclusively from economies with strong intellectual property systems, not to mention that access to these solutions was greater in economies with strong intellectual property systems. intellectual. Indeed, strong intellectual property systems make it possible to allocate resources, form partnerships and transfer technologies on commercial terms. For example, robust intellectual property systems have facilitated hundreds of voluntary licensing agreements that have fueled the rapid expansion of global manufacturing, especially in the life sciences industry. As of January 2022, there were nearly 330 voluntary partnerships and collaborations between manufacturers facilitating the production of billions of doses of vaccines and more than 110 voluntary partnerships enabling the production of therapeutics, all supported by contractual licensing of proprietary rights intellectual. As a result, by June 2022, global vaccine manufacturing capacity is expected to reach 24 billion doses.
5. Despite the crucial role that intellectual property has played in the response to the pandemic, some members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have continued to press for a proposal to “renounce” international commitments on intellectual property. intellectual property.
Although the Index and other reliable research demonstrate that robust intellectual property systems help drive innovation and access to innovation, some world leaders mistakenly see intellectual property protections as barriers to innovation and access to innovation. This misconception is the basis of a recent WTO proposal: it seeks to waive many international intellectual property commitments in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). , which sets the minimum standards for international intellectual property protection and yet has never been fully or faithfully implemented by most WTO member countries, as evidenced by the index. Such a waiver would heighten market uncertainty, discourage innovators from pursuing new ideas and taking risks, and, therefore, harm ongoing and potential efforts to address COVID-19 and other critical issues.
The index has helped economies better understand their unique intellectual property systems to improve and drive progress for ten years. A decade of data shows that the global intellectual property system has grown stronger in this way. But, it is not finished growing.
To find out more, see the United States Chamber International Intellectual Property Index and explore them interactive map.
About the authors
Executive Director, Health and Drug Policy, Global Innovation Policy Center
Kelly Anderson is the House’s senior director of health and drug policy at the Global Innovation Policy Center.