India ranks abysmally at 43rd out of 45 countries in a global innovation index, according to a report released by US Chambers of Commerce which cited the country’s “anaemic” intellectual property rights (IPR) policy and patent act as challenges to innovation.
In the 5th annual International IP Index ‘The Roots of Innovation’ by the US Chambers of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), there is slight improvement in India’s performance -- it was ranked last or next-to-last in the previous four years.
“In India, many of the same challenges to innovation remain,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of GIPC.
India has an 8.4 score as against America’s 32.6 which tops the list of 45 countries.
The United States is followed by the United Kingdom (32.4), Germany (31.9), Japan (31.3) and Sweden (31).
China has 14.83 points. Neighbouring Pakistan ranks 44th with an 8.37 score.
“Although India has made incremental progress, the government needs to build upon the positive rhetoric of its IPR policy with the substantial legislative reforms that innovators need,” he said.
Hirschmann said reforms can improve its reputation as a destination for doing business, foreign businesses’ ability to invest in and ‘Make in India’, and India’s own innovative industries.
“If Indian policymakers wish to deliver the kinds of results the Modi administration once hoped for, they can act to address issues that impact Indian innovation, such as software patentability, life sciences patents, copyright protection and enforcement, and trade secrets protection,” Hirschmann said.
In a statement, the US Chambers of Commerce said that in addition to its anaemic IPR policy, the report cited challenges with the scope of patentability for computer-implemented inventions, Section 3(D) of the Indian Patent Act and the recent Delhi high court decision regarding photocopying copyrighted content.
The report said the slight improvement in India’s overall scores is largely because of a relatively strong performance on the five new indicators included in the Index and not from any actual improvements to their national IP environments.
On the contrary, in India, for instance, several developments have had a pronounced negative impact, it said.
Of note is the Delhi high court judgment in the long-running case between some of the world’s leading academic publishers (including both Oxford and Cambridge University presses as well as Taylor & Francis) and the University of Delhi and a local photocopy shop, the report said.