In the latest edition of the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index, India has maintained the upward trajectory for the second year in a row and has jumped eight places to move up to the 36th poition among 50 economies. 

This year, in the seventh edition of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center’s (GIPC’s) annual International IP Index, India’s overall score has increased substantially to 16.22 (out of maximum score of 45). While in 2018 in the sixth edition, India was ranked 44 and according to GIPC, India scored 12.03 (out of 40). The IP climate in 50 world economies is analysed by Inspiring Tomorrow, based on 45 indicators critical to an innovation-led economy.

The improvement in India’s performance, according to  a GIPC statement, reflects the important reforms that are implemented by Indian policymakers in building and sustaining an innovation ecosystem for domestic entrepreneurs and foreign investors alike.  

Patrick Kilbride, senior vice-president, GIPC, said, “India’s performance on the Index finely captures the Government of India’s incremental, consistent initiatives over time to improve the country’s IP ecosystem, guided by the vision of the 2016 National IP Rights Policy.”

India's accession to the WIPO Internet Treaties, the agreement to initiate a patent prosecution highway with international patent offices, a dedicated set of IP incentives for small businesses, and administrative reforms to address the patent backlog are the specific reforms for India's improvement, according to Kilbride. “All of these enhance India’s competitiveness in research & development-intensive industries,” he added.

The Narendra Modi-led government’s pro-IP policies were praised by the GIPC, which in a release, said that these initiatives have the potential to transform the government’s programmes to reality. Such initiatives include - ‘Accelerating Growth for New India Innovations,’ ‘Startup India’, and ‘Digital India’ to economic reality. “It presents an objective, data-driven view of competitiveness in a global market, based on criteria used by the business community when determining where to invest,” the release added.

The report, on the contrary to India's improvement, also noted that there were still substantial challenges regarding the country’s patenting and IP enforcement environment which included barriers to licensing and technology transfer, strict registration requirements, limited framework for the protection of biopharmaceutical IP rights and patentability requirements outside international standards.

The report also commented on the enforcement environment stating that rights holders continue to face challenges in enforcing their IP rights in India. “India has high rates of substandard and counterfeit medicines, online and physical piracy, and counterfeiting. One area of growing concern has been the long pendency times in the Indian court system,” the report added.