International IP Index: Enforcing and Protecting Intellectual Property

As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched its 10th edition of the International IP Index, ecosystem leaders discussed government policies and frameworks in place to improve IP protection.


Air Date: February 24, 2022

Moderator: Mei-Ian Stark, Executive Vice President & Chief Counsel, Intellectual Property, NBC Universal, Jen Walton, Vice President, U.S. Government Relations, Pfizer, Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President, Global Innovation Policy Center

Featured Guests: Meir Pugatch, Founder & Managing Director, Pugatch Consilium, Tim Moss, Chief Executive and Comptroller General, UK IPO

Intellectual property (IP) is a powerful tool that drives innovation and creativity, helps with economic growth, and even played a major role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) develops an annual International IP Index, which evaluates IP rights across 55 global economies, from patent and copyright policies to commercialization of IP assets and ratification of international treaties.

In February 2022, GIPC released its 10th edition of the Index, “Compete for Tomorrow.” A decade’s worth of data shows that the global IP system has grown stronger as a result.

“Public policy can spur innovators and creators along — or it can stop them altogether,” said David Hirschmann, President, and CEO of GIPC. “As the data makes clear, effective intellectual property systems encourage innovators and creators to embrace new ideas, take risks, and drive change.”

At the International IP Index 10th Edition Virtual Launch, a panel of IP ecosystem leaders discussed policy decisions to invest in IP frameworks and what must be done to create equal opportunities for all in 2022 and beyond.

Economic Recovery Through Intellectual Property Rights

When considering IP during the past two years, it has played a major role in the world's economic landscape. Meir Pugatch, the founder and managing director at Pugatch Consilium, described how we’ve seen IP open doors and help countries with different economies to fulfill their economic potential.

“A big part of that economic recovery is essentially related to intellectual property rights, and the IP-related products and services that are based on these forms of protection,” Pugatch said. “Because if we look at technology … the entire world shifted to digital tools that still allow us to connect, still allow us to work, to collaborate, to maintain some kind of momentum and even harness it — and all of these technologies were based eventually on one or another form of intellectual property protection.”

Pugatch described the ways IP has helped pharmaceutical and biopharma industries, leading the way throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We see how IP-based tools and IP-based ecosystems have paved the way for pharmaceutical companies and the biopharma industry, essentially to save humanity, because vaccines and the other treatments that are related to vaccines, be it medicines, antibiotics, medical devices, inhalers, or screening machines — they're all based on intellectual property,” Pugatch said. “This is what essentially allowed humanity to start to get out of COVID, or at the very least to be able to live alongside COVID … This is where IP has paved the way.”

Key Insights Into IP Protection Progress

While IP protection improvements around the world have been gradual, compared to where we were a decade ago, Pugatch believes we are headed in the right direction.

“Despite all the conflicts, we believe that the world is in a better IP shape than it was 10 years ago,” Pugatch emphasized. “Things are improving, and a big part of it is because the policy discussion and the policy debates are based more on data, rather than just views. This data also helps countries to make decisions that … are in the right direction.”

Looking at this year’s Index, Pugatch highlighted some key insights.

“If we look at how countries are ready for what we call the ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ which means the use of digital artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data — everything which is the future — we see that countries that have the right intellectual property environments are much more ready to use the fourth industrial revolution and to benefit from that,” Pugatch described.

The United Kingdom’s Role in IP Enforcement

The UK has prioritized IP frameworks and is seeking to lead IP efforts with its high standards. Tim Moss, the chief executive and comptroller general at UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), talked with Jen Walton, the vice president of U.S. government relations at Pfizer, about the IPO’s impact on the protection of rights.

“As an IP office, we are part of the system to improve the enforcement and protection of rights,” Moss explained. “We work with law enforcement colleagues, with other offices, and with other agencies to make sure that the UK and internationally can be a safe place for people with IP rights.”

Moss continued, describing the issues that arise with IP infringement, and how the UK IPO seeks to handle IP enforcement.

“IP infringement is a global issue,” Moss noted. “It knows no national boundaries and we need to have this collective effort between offices, law enforcement, and organizations across the world to make sure we create the best environment to protect IP, and really make some significant inroads into those that seek to infringe IP.”