US IP Strengths: Global Ranking, Patent Improvements

Patent Improvements

United States Leads Global IP Index

The U.S. Assembly of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) unveiled the latest International IP Index, assessing intellectual property environments across 50 economies. Once again, the United States emerged as the world’s strongest IP regime. Notably, its rise to second place in patent rights signifies a remarkable improvement from its 12th-place ranking in 2018.

Strengthening IP Importance Globally

IP issues have gained immense prominence in global affairs, notably in the U.S.-China trade disputes and negotiations preceding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) signing last November. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s reforms played a pivotal role, reducing uncertainty in the patent system. Changes in case development standards, Trial Practice Guide enhancements, and procedural modifications contributed significantly.

US Strengths and Weaknesses

The U.S.’s top ranking is bolstered by its role as a global leader in IP rights enforcement. However, vulnerabilities persist in addressing online piracy and uncertainties in patentability within innovative sectors. Proposed legislation for compulsory pharmaceutical licensing in 2018 raised concerns about its impact on biopharmaceutical innovation.

GIPC Analysis

Meir Pugatch of the Pugatch Consilium noted the report’s coverage of 90% of global GDP across 50 economies. Positive shifts in India’s rankings and Taiwan’s improved score due to linkage mechanisms between pharmaceutical patents and approved drugs were highlighted. Conversely, negative movements were observed in countries restricting licensing deals and trade secrets.

China’s IP Stalemate

Ellen Szymanski discussed China’s halted progress in the IP index due to rampant IP theft and counterfeit exports. For China to be a reliable trading partner, it must create a fair market by curbing IP infringements.

Seeking Innovation Through IP

Patrick Kilbride emphasized that intellectual property facilitates innovation. He praised India’s progress in IP and credited the U.S. for democratizing IP globally. Despite the U.S.’s patent system challenges over the past decade, measures taken by the USPTO offer optimism for patent rights.

Persistent Challenges

While the U.S. ties for second in patent rankings, its narrow lead raises concerns. Kilbride acknowledged issues like obtaining injunctions against infringers and patent eligibility, impacting the nation’s patent system.


The U.S. retains the top spot in the International IP Index but experienced a slight dip in its overall score, attributed to new indicators introduced in the evaluation. Despite a marginal decrease, the U.S. remains a dominant force in global IP, drawing attention to the crucial role played by Property Attorneys in safeguarding intellectual property rights within the country’s legal framework.

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