SINGAPORE--India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are at the bottom in terms of protections for intellectual property, and much of the rest of Asia is ranked near them in an assessment by a U.S. Chamber of Commerce unit. Singapore was ranked in the top 5 in the Pacific region with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea close behind.
In issuing the report, the chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center said the rankings should serve as a roadmap for all 30 economies ranked, even those at the top, to see how they can improve. It said the rankings were derived from 30 measurable criteria showing first-of-its-kind data on the correlation between "strong IP protections and thriving innovative economies."
The summary of the report, "Unlimited Potential," singled out India for comment, saying the new administration's draft national IPR policy and formation of a high-level IP working group for trade considerations have "the potential to elicit measurable and sustainable changes to India's IP system."
The summary added, however, that despite India's "slight" improvement in its patent system, "renouncing the use of compulsory licenses as a commercial tool would deliver additional benefits."
The report also criticized New Zealand and Thailand in the Pacific basin for considering "plain-packaging" legislation.
Among 15 Asia and Pacific region countries, Singapore was ranked number 5, Australia 7, South Korea 8, Japan 9, New Zealand 10, Malaysia 12, Taiwan 13, Russia 15, China 19, Turkey 20, UAE 22, Indonesia 27, Vietnam 28, India 29 and Thailand 30.
Overall, the report said the surveyed countries, which account for 80% of global gross domestic product, are taking IP protection more seriously. It also drew a direct correlation between IP protection and investment in research and development, saying nations with advanced IP systems are 40% more likely to invest.
In the life sciences sector, it said, such countries saw 9 to 10 times more investment than the weaker ones.