Kelly Anderson Kelly Anderson
Executive Director, International Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


February 22, 2024


Behind every groundbreaking invention or creative masterpiece is a common ingredient sometimes overlooked—intellectual property rights.   

Intellectual property (IP) rights are legal protections for creations of the mind, like inventions and artistic works. In the United States, these Constitutionally enshrined rights provide creators a temporary exclusive right over their investment. The categories of IP include: 

  • Copyright shields creations such as books, paintings, music, and plays. 
  • Patents safeguard novel and practical inventions or methods. 
  • Trademarks protect symbols, names, or designs distinguishing products or services. 
  • Trade secrets secure vital business information, like recipes or strategies, confidential from competitors.
  • Design rights protect the shapes, patterns, or colors of the world’s most recognizable products. 

Explore the Full 2024 International IP Index

Learn how smart policies can foster innovation, creativity, and economic growth and unlock opportunities for people the world over.

A Free Enterprise Powerhouse  

Intellectual property rights are also essential to free enterprise, as they empower our brightest minds and most innovative companies to invest, collaborate, and share their talents with the world while protecting their hard-earned achievements.  

Strong IP protections also deliver broad societal benefits. The IP Index consistently shows that embracing robust IP rights leads to greater access to the latest innovations in healthcare and technology, economic opportunities, and more robust job markets.

  • Big numbers: In the United States alone, IP supports tens of millions of jobs and contributes $7.8 trillion to the economy, about 40% of the nation’s GDP, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.   
  • IP pays and trains: Over twelve years of IP Index data confirms that workers in IP-intensive industries often receive higher wages, improved job stability, and greater access to specialized skills training. 
Here is why protecting IP is important to the success of America

State of World IP Rights in 2024 

The 12th IP Index evaluates intellectual property systems in the world's top 55 economies using 50 unique criteria. The data shows economies how to improve IP-driven innovation and creativity and reveals trends in global IP protection.

Top IP takeaways for 2024:

  • Encouraging improvements, some declines: The overall IP conditions improved in 20 economies, led by Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Nigeria, showing increased investment in innovation. However, 27 economies saw no change, and eight declined, notably Ecuador, due to lackluster IP enforcement measures.   
  • International debates persist: In global talks, there's a misunderstanding about how crucial intellectual property is for solving challenging issues like pandemics, world hunger, and energy shortages. Debates around IP waivers and forced technology transfers impact many areas of the world economy, including medicine and green technology. This might hold back the development of these vital solutions.  
  • Developed economies walking a tightrope: Developed economies risk forfeiting IP leadership due to damaging policy proposals. For example, the Biden Administration's unprecedented call to use "march-in rights" to enact price controls in the U.S. and limitations on regulatory data and patent protection in Europe threaten to undermine their IP leadership.  
  • Pirates at bay: Nations continue making strides in fighting online piracy, and there's been some progress. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, and Singapore, among others, are using dynamic injunctions to safeguard copyrighted works on the Internet. Meanwhile, the Philippines is considering introducing similar measures, and India has started enforcing criminal penalties for copyright infringement.  

Bottom line: When our leaders make decisions on IP, they're not just deciding for themselves—they're shaping the future for all of us. That's where the International IP Index comes in, acting as a compass to help our leaders navigate the tricky waters of innovation and progress. With this data, they can see what's working, what's not, and what changes we need to make to ensure a brighter future for everyone.  

Go Deeper

A narrative on IP Rights: Recently, the U.S. Chamber created a comprehensive blueprint to protect America's innovators, creators, and brand owners by focusing on intellectual property rights. The plan suggests ways to tackle issues like counterfeiting and piracy and calls for policies that support strong IP rules. It also stresses the need for teamwork between government, businesses, and others to make the most of IP for growth and success. 

About the authors

Kelly Anderson

Kelly Anderson

Kelly Anderson is the Executive Director of International Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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