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U.S. leads world in intellectual property protection (May 21)
May 21, 2020

The United States, the world’s largest economy, sets the standard for protecting inventors, creators and entrepreneurs, ranking first in a global intellectual property index.

That is the conclusion of the 2020 International Intellectual Property Index, released by the Global Innovation Policy Center, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Chart comparing overall economy scores - U.S. is 47, China is 25, and Venezuela is 7

Intellectual property rights are a foundation of modern business. When governments protect intellectual property rights, innovators can retain the exclusive right to make money from their hard work.

The index, according to the report, ranks the overall intellectual property framework in each economy by evaluating different categories of protection and assigning each economy a score out of 50.

The United States once again ranked first with a score of 47.64 out of 50, or 95.28% of the available score (scores are expressed as percentages to standardize the rankings year over year). U.S. laws and regulations that protect innovators, creators, artists and businesses are a main reason for the high score, the report said.

The People’s Republic of China, the world’s second-largest economy, ranked 28 with a score of 25.48 (50.96%). Last place was Venezuela, with a score of 7.11 (14.22%).

“IP protections show innovators that their investments are valuable and that their work is worthy,” David Hirschmann, president and chief executive of the Global Innovation Policy Center, said in the International Intellectual Property Index report’s foreword.

The index covers 53 economies, representing over 90% of the global economy.

The index tracks nine categories of intellectual property protection: patents, copyrights, trademarks, design rights, trade secrets, commercialization, enforcement, systemic efficiency and membership in international treaties.

Better protection for better growth

The Global Innovation Policy Center’s report illustrates why upholding IP rights is good for countries and provides a road map for countries that want to improve their economies.

With effective intellectual property protections, countries can take “the ideas and creations of the mind … transforming them into the next generation of technologies, medicines, and creative works that enrich our lives,” the report says.

Text: economies with effective IP protection are nearly 40% more attractive to: foreign investment, venture capital, private equity

The U.S. government also keeps track of which countries are respecting IP rights. “China continues to be the world’s leading source of counterfeit and pirated goods,” said the U.S. trade representative’s latest annual report on the state of IP protections around the world.

“U.S. companies are the world’s most innovative,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said March 5 when he congratulated Singapore’s Daren Tang on his selection to be the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization. “Secure property rights are critical for driving innovation, investment, and economic opportunity,” Pompeo said.