Patrick Kilbride Patrick Kilbride
Former Senior Vice President, Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


February 08, 2019


We live in an era of unprecedented technological progress. Each day, individual innovators and creators as well as businesses large and small seek solutions to global challenges by creating game-changing technologies. Strong IP systems are the driving force behind the innovations that enable us to enrich life, address global problems, and achieve unpredictable progress. Effective IP policies not only enable bold investment in these new technologies but also foster environments where innovation and creativity is appropriately valued and cultivated.

Creators and inventors depend on strong IP protections to safeguard their work. Environments where these protections are especially effective tend to develop the most imaginative and inspired innovators, the risk-takers. Channeling their ideas to actions, these innovators create everything from our most beloved books, to ground-breaking medicines and revolutionary technologies.

The 7th edition of the U.S. Chamber International IP Index, “Inspiring Tomorrow,” is a directive for countries looking to create an environment which inspires innovation through an effective IP architecture.

The Index analyzes the IP framework in 50 global economies and illustrates that IP is the driving force behind the transformative growth of innovation and creativity in global markets. The 2019 Index demonstrates the close correlation between effective IP protection and economic growth, global competitiveness, and the creation of 21st century knowledge-based economies.

As global societies advance, their dependence on innovation does as well. The Index notes IP areas where countries have space to improve, or are up to current standard.

However, this bar is continually being pushed farther back as one after another, innovations top those before them. Innovation is constantly evolving in nature, and global economies must protect IP in order to ensure their innovators and creators evolve at a comparable rate.

The 7th edition of the Index illustrates that there was significant movement – both positive and negative – on IP over the last year. The 2019 Index shows that some key developing countries are on the move, which is most evident through India’s nearly 20% increase in score between the 2018 and 2019 editions.

The Index demonstrates how tangible progress on IP can lead to real economic benefits. For instance, the 2019 Index revealed that IP-driven economies are 55% more likely to adapt to sophisticated, state-of-the-art technology, and are 26% more competitive overall. Additionally, these economies are twice as likely to produce and export complex, knowledge-intensive products.

Chart shows that economies with favorable IP environments are more globally competitive.

Cultivating effective IP policy also leads to stronger infrastructures, an increased availability of R&D funding, and increased foreign investment.

When IP is the backbone of a country’s knowledge economy, workers have access to higher-skilled, better paying jobs. As the labor force progresses, consumers have access to more entertainment, technology, and cutting-edge clinical drug trials.

The bottom line is – when international economies invest in their IP systems through legislation, whole societies benefit.

IP protection enables us to envision a better tomorrow, one in which the technologies we have not yet dreamed of will allow us to address new global challenges more effectively than ever before. Innovation and IP protections must evolve in tandem in order to continue inspiring a better tomorrow.

About the authors

Patrick Kilbride

Patrick Kilbride

Kilbride is senior vice president of the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC).