India Ranks Next-to-Last in GIPC’s IP Index

Yesterday, the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) released the U.S. Chamber’s annual International Intellectual Property (IP) Index revealing that India still needs to make major improvements to its IP environment to keep pace with its international trade competitors and to attract trade and investment in innovative industries that are needed to strengthen the Indian economy.

For the fourth year in a row, India remained near the bottom of the Index—ranking next to last among of the 38 economies analyzed in the report. India’s overall score was 7.05 out of 30, a slight decrease from last year’s score of 7.23. India ranked the lowest in the areas of patents (1 out of 7) and international treaties (0 out of 7).

As explained in the Index’s findings, “India’s patentability requirements remain outside established international best practices with 2015 rulings confirming long-standing interpretations; there is a lack of specific IP rights for the life sciences sector; the enforcement environment remains challenging with continued high levels of physical and online piracy; and, finally, India is not a contracting party to any of the international treaties included in the IP Index, nor has India concluded a FTA with substantial IP provisions since acceding to the TRIPS Agreement.”

Detailed areas of India’s IP strengths and weaknesses are outlined in the chart below:

SW BoxU.S. Chamber International IP Index, “Infinite Possibilities,” 4th Edition, Feb. 2016, p.51

“The Index was created so that countries around the world, such as India, can hear directly from the business community on the IP-related issues important to them when considering investing in new markets,” said Mark Elliot, executive vice president of GIPC.

GIPC’s Index mapped the IP environments of 38 countries’ economies, which account for a combined 85 percent of the global GDP. Scoring is based on six categories: patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, enforcement, and international treaties; the highest possible combined score is 30 points.

“While we have been encouraged by the Modi Administration’s rhetoric to improve India’s IP environment, we have yet to see it translate into concrete action,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of GIPC.

As summarized from the Index’s conclusion, any country seeking to foster economic growth and global competitiveness needs to provide an established legal framework supported by robust IP protection. Strengthening India’s overall IP environment would not only encourage foreign innovators to invest and do business in India, but it would entice India’s domestic innovators to plant their roots and grow their businesses at home, ensuring the growth of innovative industries and better access for Indian consumers to the latest and greatest products.