The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

2016 IP Index Offers "Infinite Possibilities"

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


On February 10, 2016, the U.S Chamber of Commerce released its fourth annual IP index, Infinite Possibilities, which reviews and rates intellectual property (IP) rights and protections around the world. In 2012, when the chamber released its first IP index, 11 countries were ranked from best to worst on IP protection.  The U.S. had the highest score, and India ranked the lowest.  In its fourth annual report, the chamber reviewed IP policies across 38 countries, accounting for nearly 85 percent of the global domestic product.  The U.S. again received the highest score overall, closely followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Sweden.  Venezuela sits at the bottom of the rankings, with India, Thailand, and Vietnam receiving slightly higher marks.  The findings are based on 30 measurable criteria that are critical to innovation and are based on six categories: patents; copyrights; trademarks; trade secrets and market access; enforcement; and, membership and ratification of international treaties.  The chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is responsible for the research and analysis underlying the IP Index. The legal protection of IP has enormous value, and the IP Index is a useful tool for countries seeking to improve their IP regimes and economic standing.   As noted in CAGW’s book Intellectual Property: Making It Personal, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration found that direct employment in the most IP-intensive industries in the U.S. accounted for 27.1 million jobs in 2010, and indirect activities associated with those industries provided an additional 12.9 million jobs for a total of 40 million jobs. By using tools such as the IP Index, nations can make informed decisions on how to improve IP protection regimes in order to increase innovation and advance economic growth.

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