Acknowledging the improvement in India’s innovation ecosystem, the US Chamber of Commerce has moved India up eight places in its international intellectual property (IP) index by ranking it 36th amongst 50 countries in 2019.

“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 report card, released by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) on Thursday, pointed out.

“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,” said Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President of GIPC.

Key issues

The report also focuses on thorny issues. According to the report, the key problems in India 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.

While the report suggests that India’s patent rules are over and above global norms, New Delhi has been steadily refuting it by stressing that it is in strict adherence to World Trade Organisation’s TRIPS mandate.

The report ranks economies based on 45 indicators covering patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets protection. For the second year in a row, 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, the report said. Last year, India had ranked 44th of 50 economies in the index.