However, ‘serious challenges’ on the patent front still exist, says the US Chamber of Commerce report.
In an acknowledgment of the improvement in India’s innovation ecosystem, the US Chamber of Commerce moved India up eight places in its international intellectual property (IP) index and has ranked it 36th amongst 50 countries in 2019, according to a report published in thehindubusinessline.com.
The rankings were released by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) on Thursday and said, “The improvement reflects important reforms implemented by Indian policy makers toward building and sustaining an innovation ecosystem for domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors alike.”
“The reforms that helped improve India’s ranking include its accession to the WIPO Internet Treaties, the agreement to initiate a Patent Prosecution Highway with international offices, a dedicated set of IP incentives for small business and administrative reforms,” the report quoted Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President of GIPC.
However, the report has red-flagged some issues. The key problems in India, as highlighted in the report, include barriers to licensing and technology transfer, strict registration requirements, limited framework for the protection of bio-pharmaceutical IP rights, patentability requirements outside international standards, lengthy pre-grant opposition proceedings and previously used compulsory licensing for commercial and non-emergency situations.
“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,” Kilbride said.
The report suggests that India’s patent rules are over and above global norms, however, it has been steadily refuted by India, which claims that it is in strict adherence to World Trade Organisation’s TRIPS mandate.
The US Chamber of Commerce report ranks economies based on 45 indicators. These cover patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets protection. It was the second consecutive year that India’s score represented the largest gain of any country measured on the index, which covers over 90 per cent of global gross domestic product. Last year, India had ranked 44th of 50 economies in the index, the report says.