Sean Hackbarth Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


February 08, 2017


Dallas-based startup NoiseAware invented what it calls, “smoke detectors for noise.” They're sound sensors placed in a rental property that notifies the owner if vacation renters are getting too loud.

The company’s patent-pending technology is so impressive that NoiseAware is now partnering with Expedia’s HomeAway, one of the world’s largest vacation rental services.

Innovative startups like NoiseAware rely on strong intellectual property (IP) protections. Without them they’re less inclined to get venture capital to grow and continue innovating.

The United States is at the top when it comes to protecting IP, according to the Global Intellectual Property Center’s 2017 International IP Index. The index looks at IP standards in 45 countries that represent 90% of world GDP.

“Just as a tree cannot grow without roots, innovation cannot thrive without intellectual property,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of GIPC, playing up the ecology angle. “From the most developed countries to the least, countries that demonstrate a commitment to IP will reap a reward.”

The report explains that IP protection nurtures innovation, creating jobs and generating economic growth:

The most up-to-date data on the benefits of IP protection reveals that IP is, in fact, a critical instrument for countries seeking to enhance access to innovation, grow domestic innovative output, and enjoy the dynamic growth benefits of an innovative economy. Conversely, weak IP protection stymies long-term strategic aspirations for innovation and development.

“Now more than ever, world economies must choose whether they will grow forward into the future or shrink back from endless innovative potential,” said Mark Elliot, executive vice president of GIPC.

Here are the top ten ranked countries according to the GIPC 2017 International IP Index:

  1. U.S.
  2. U.K.
  3. Germany
  4. Japan
  5. Sweden
  6. France
  7. Switzerland
  8. Singapore
  9. South Korea
  10. Italy

And check out the interactive map of the index. 

About the authors

Sean Hackbarth

Sean Hackbarth

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.

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