Canada and India Among Weakest in IP Index

Canada and India Among Weakest in IP Index

12.13.12 | By Jay Taylor

A compelling new report by the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), highlights the strengths and weaknesses of 11 economically and geographically diverse countries. The premise of the report, Measuring Momentum, is that protection of intellectual property catalyzes dynamic global economies. This, in turn, sustains innovative industries and high-quality jobs, and in the case of the innovative biopharmaceutical industry, sparks development of the next generation of medicines for the world's patients.

The report highlights two very different economies - Canada and India - that share common ground in that each has earned a negative rating. Although Canada ranks fourth overall, this rating is disturbingly low because it finds itself sharing greater similarities to Brazil and India than to markets such as the U.S. and U.K. whom it no doubt considers its peers. As one of the leaders in the world economy, Canada should be a beacon for how other countries should address intellectual property; however, the report reveals Canada has a long way to go.

India ranks last in the 11 country index in large part because it fails to apply or enforce its counterfeit and copyright laws. Most significantly for the biopharmaceutical industry and other industries who rely on intellectual property to fuel research and development, India has issued compulsory licenses, thereby stripping products of their patents for domestic industrial purposes. The report highlights how India could gain momentum in its economy if it had better treatment of IP; in the absence of a real effort to improve its regime, however, there is little hope that India will develop into an innovative economy.

Protecting IP rights can help countries seeking to create jobs, promote economic growth and access new technologies. Those IP rights not only help economic development , but enables researchers around the world to take advantage of an increased knowledge capital . This report is a great first step in helping countries understand how accepting 21st century models, and embracing intellectual property protections, will enhance their growth.

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