U.S. Chamber 2021 International IP Index

As society adjusted to living through a global pandemic, intellectual property (IP) played an essential—if oftentimes underappreciated—role in the creation and development of solutions to combat COVID-19. In this context, being able to measure how equipped economies are to generate and safeguard innovation and creativity is more important than ever before.

The 2021 Index illustrates that economies with the most effective IP frameworks are more likely to achieve the socio-economic benefits needed to combat COVID-19, including greater access to venture capital, increased private sector investment in research and development, and over 10 times more clinical trial activity. Over the last year, transparent and predictable intellectual property rights have also fostered unprecedented levels of highly successful public-private sector collaborations.



In its ninth edition, the Index maps the IP ecosystem in 53 global economies, representing over 90% of global GDP.

The Index evaluates the IP framework in each economy across 50 unique indicators which industry believes represent economies with the most effective IP systems. The indicators create a snapshot of an economies overall IP ecosystem and span nine categories of protection: patents, copyrights, trademarks, design rights, trade secrets, commercialization of IP assets, enforcement, systemic efficiency, and membership and ratification of international treaties.


Key Findings

  • Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the global IP environment continued to strengthen.In the 2021 report, 32 of the 53 economies benchmarked had positive improvements in their scores.
  • Trade agreements continue to substantively improve national IP frameworks, including in China and Mexico.To harness the full potential of the agreements, the provisions must be effectively implemented and enforced.
  • IP enabled the development of a pipeline of therapeutics solutions to combat COVID-19.Both in the U.S. and around the world, vaccines and therapeutics were developed at an unprecedented speed because of the scale of public-private sector collaboration, made possible by effective IP protection.
  • Despite the positive role IP played in response to the global pandemic, countries took steps to undermine IP-enabled innovation.From compulsory licensing legislation to the WTO TRIPS Waiver, some global markets and multilateral institutions failed to recognize IP’s critical role in the discovery and delivery of effective therapeutics and vaccines.

As global citizens yearn to achieve our new normal, effective IP systems will be critical to rebuilding healthy communities, getting citizens back to work, and reinvigorating the global economy.

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