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


February 08, 2018


World-changing IP-driven innovation requires teamwork on a global scale. Countries implement policies, enforce rules and regulations, and adhere to provisions in trade agreements, in effect creating a vibrant tapestry of intellectual property (IP) protection.

Creators and inventors depend on that tapestry. IP protections incentivize the enormous risk and cost behind their crafts: life-saving medicines; thoughtful books, movies, songs, fashion, and artwork; and next-generation technology.

Creators and inventors can find inspiration almost anywhere. But countries with strong IP protection attract and nurture more productive creative and innovative economies.

The sixth edition of the U.S. Chamber International IP Index, “Create,” is a guide for countries seeking to bolster their knowledge economies through an effective IP architecture.

Released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), it analyzes the IP climate in 50 world economies based on 40 unique indicators that benchmark activity critical to domestic knowledge development.

Ultimately, the Index seeks to answer one simple question: Does a given country’s IP system provide a reliable bases for investment in creativity and innovation?

The U.S. Chamber is proud to report that the majority of economies included in the Index took steps over the past year to strengthen their IP frameworks and make tangible additions to the global tapestry of IP protection.

Throughout 2017, countries enhanced their legislative, regulatory, and administrative infrastructure around patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Many countries increased their enforcement efforts to defend against IP theft and crime. In a positive trend, nearly every country included in the sixth edition made concrete efforts to better educate citizens on IP and available IP protection mechanisms.

Global Innovation Policy Center chart: A robust IP regime promotes high-value job creation.

And, as the Index illustrates, these economies can receive rich reward in return. Countries scoring in the top half of the Index–regardless of size, region, or level of development–tend to see heightened high-value job creation, stronger foreign direct investment, and more dynamic research and development activity.

Entrepreneurs and businesses in these countries tend to gain greater access to venture capital, highly-skilled workers, and advanced technologies. And consumers in these countries tend to experience greater access to music and movies as well as more cutting-edge clinical drug trials.

The Index makes it clear: economies flourish and the public prospers when governments invest in strong IP systems.

With a strong international IP system, today’s wildest imaginations can quickly become tomorrow’s realities.

About the authors

Patrick Kilbride

Patrick Kilbride

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