India has vaulted eight spots to rank 36 out of 50 nations, in the 2018 international Intellectual Property (IP) index, released by the US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center on Thursday.
The report attributed the “most substantial movement” among major global economies to India, which has “surged almost 20 percent” and climbed up from the 44th spot in last year’s rankings.
The year before, it had scored 43rd out of 45 nations. In the first edition of the report in 2014, India came last in the list of 25 countries.
Purpose of the Index
The GIPC ranks countries annually based on their patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets protection policies, although its methodology, involving 40 indicators considered critical to innovation development, is often questioned.
Fifty of the world’s economies contributing over 90 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product have come under the GIPC’s purview since 2017.
According to the seventh and latest IP index, the US, UK, and EU economies remain atop the global IP rankings, though the US’s lead narrowed “due to systemic challenges to its patent system.” Japan and Singapore also appear among the Index’s top ten.
China, which allegedly commits rampant IP theft against the US, has been ranked 25th on the list. Pakistan occupies the 47th spot and Venezuela is has been placed last.
A relative and absolute improvement
Last year, the GIPC acknowledged India’s attempts at protecting intellectual property better in terms of copyrights and trademarks, and making patents for computer-related innovations easier.
In the latest review, the report notes how certain reforms further align India’s IP environment with the international IP system, particularly its accession to the WIPO Internet Treaties, the subsequent agreement with the Japanese Patent Office on a pilot Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), and a dedicated set of IP incentives for small business, and administrative reforms to address the patent application backlog.
According to the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM), from 200,000 pending applications in March 2017, the patent backlog reduced to just over 155,000 applications by the end of June 2018. For trademarks, a backlog of over 450,000 applications remained.
India has also invested considerable energy into decreasing pendency rates for patent and trademark applications, mainly by hiring more staff and acquiring more resources directed at
“The improvement reflects important reforms implemented by Indian policymakers toward building and sustaining an innovation ecosystem for domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors alike,” the US report pointed out.
While calling the improvement a “real accomplishment,” the report also noted substantial challenges that persist in terms of India’s patent laws, IP enforcement systems and awareness regarding the same.
According to the report, India needs to surmount key barriers to licensing and technology transfer, strict registration criteria,
It accuses the patenting environment of following requirements over and above international standards although New Delhi vehemently claims strict adherence to
“If India can surmount the serious challenges that remain, including with regard to patent eligibility and enforcement, it can build a robust innovation-led growth model for other countries to emulate,” said Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President of GIPC.
“When innovators succeed, countries succeed. Governments with strong IP systems foster greater innovation and creativity and position themselves to better compete at the highest levels for global investment, talent, and growth, said David Hirschmann, president
How does it affect you?
The disabling of pirated torrent sites in 2012 has made
Furthermore, relaxed patenting requirements and shorter turnaround time in case of licensing procedures have helped entrepreneurs, innovators, and start-ups to develop their products and services without having to wait around for the copyright.
For example, ever since the Guidelines for Examination of Computer-Related Inventions were revised last year, patentability of hardware-based inventions has become easier. A new set of Trade Mark Rules has further vested owners with the power to protect their trademarks.
At the same time, the tightening of laws aimed at punishing intellectual
Is the future open source?
That said, this index also leaves scope to make a case for copyleft, or open source frameworks. The adoption of open source software, for example, is reportedly revolutionising the technology industry and is the discourse of the day.
Copyleft has several benefits. Open source software, for instance, can simplify and speed up application development, deployment
In case of art, the concept of copyleft enters a murky area, but there are several artists who endorse it for how it
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius
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