Strong IP Policies Unleash the Art of the Possible

Around the globe, innovators and creators are constantly breaching the realm of possibility, making unprecedented scientific discoveries, technological advancements, and creative works. Within their labs, offices, workshops, and studios, the impossible is well within reason. Robust intellectual property (IP) systems enable these endeavors, nourish innovation, and grant stability to those in pursuit of unparalleled progress. A healthier, more vibrant, and better world lies within reach, and IP helps pave the way.

The eighth edition of the U.S. Chamber International IP Index, “Art of the Possible,” gives guidance to countries looking to harness the benefits of robust IP systems in order to unleash the power of their nation’s innovators and creators.

The annual Index surveys the IP landscape in 53 global economies, illustrating the vast socioeconomic benefits created through effective IP policy. The report evaluates these countries against 50 indicators and illustrates both the successes and shortcomings of an economy’s national IP environment.

The 2020 Index provides insight on the ever-evolving international IP landscape. In an attempt to resolve the ongoing trade dispute with the United States, China made substantial commitments to improve their national IP environment in Phase One of the U.S.-China trade deal. The deal symbolizes movement towards a more stable and trustworthy national IP landscape for innovators and creators alike. Additionally, to the agreement will help chip away at the barriers investors and innovators face when bringing their ideas to market. Though proper implementation is critical and further negotiations remain, these commitments stand to catalyze global innovation and creativity, elevating standards and better protecting consumers around the world.

While developed markets often dominate the conversation in the international innovation space, the 2020 Index revealed that emerging markets are on the move. While China implemented a series of IP reforms ahead of the Phase One agreement, both India and Brazil continue to embrace pro-IP policies.

The report highlights the improvements made in the international IP landscape over the past year, but illustrates that challenges remain for innovative industries and consumers alike. Both developed and developing economies continue to undermine biopharmaceutical innovation by weakening IP protections in the name of cost containment. Additionally, the recently signed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) failed to substantially enhance IP protections for North American innovators and was a missed to elevate IP standards through global commerce. Given the scale of the challenges that remain, governments must use all bilateral and multilateral tools available to create more effective IP standards. This will ensure that innovation and creativity continue to thrive in markets large and small around the world.

The 2020 Index makes clear that effective IP policies strengthen nations by stimulating economic growth and fostering greater global and regional competitiveness. Through robust IP protection, innovators and creators empower economies to harness IP to unleash the Art of the Possible.

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