Release of GIPC’s 2016 Index Shows Positive Trend for IP Rights Worldwide

Michi Iljazi

February 15, 2016

Even though the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) focuses most of its efforts on issues on the  national level, there are some issues that expand to a broader, international scale.  One issue that transcends borders is the protection of intellectual property (IP). TPA continues to work on a wide range of IP issues (including plain packaging and copyright protection) understanding the positive impact that protecting IP has on the economy and jobs.

A key component to strengthening IP at home and abroad is to recognize the progress made by countries when it comes to the quality of IP protections. The United States Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 International IP Index (found here), which is put out by the Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), shows the progress that’s being made by countries in protecting IP.  The GIPC’s 2016 International IP Index is their fourth annual release and it examines 38 economies and bases the index off of 30 different indicators to measure the strength of their IP system.

According to the index, the United States leads the way 28.8 out of 30.  The biggest caveat is that even though the US leads the way, more work needs to be done to strengthen IP in the US.  Recent figures from a joint report by the Economics and Statistics Administration and the United States Patent and Trademark Office show that 40 million jobs are supported by IP intensive industries. That is a number too big to ignore and it will continue to grow.

Upon the release of the report last week, there was an upbeat tone about the current state of IP and the positive trend that the index showed in terms of how countries were getting better at fostering a culture where IP was protected globally. GIPC’s President & CEO David Hirschmann touched on that optimistic outlook when he noted:

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.”

Mr. Hirschmann also stressed the important role that the private sector must play when indentifying a way forward on how to make sure IP protections are a core component in countries all over the world:

“The Index was created so that countries around the world can hear directly from the business community on the IP-related issues important to them when considering.”

TPA is no stranger when it comes to recognizing the importance of IP around the world. Last year, TPA hosted a reception with the Property Rights Alliance and the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance at the European Resource Bank in Istanbul, Turkey stressing the important role that IP plays for consumers and businesses across the world.  That event was well received and it was also a great learning experience that exemplified how stakeholders can come together to share information, learn new things, and work in cooperation to improve existing areas of mutual interest. In that case, it was IP rights. Further showing the importance of having that event, Turkey had an overall score of 11.87/30 on the 2016 index with plenty of room for improvement.

The GIPC has used the phrase “Infinite Possibilities” to describe the 2016 index and it is a fitting one seeing how this is just the beginning. The launch of the 2016 GIPC International Index is just the first of many successes in the coming year for those that understand the importance of protecting IP. There will be more efforts to build upon the positive step forward that the release represents, and TPA hopes to be a part of many of those efforts both at home and abroad.

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