The Policy Workshop seminar in Hong Kong, 2014

Originally posted on October 21, 2014.

Two weeks from now, I will participate in a small group meeting-seminar on intellectual property rights (IPR) of independent Asian think tanks to be held in Hong Kong. The event is sponsored by The Policy Workshop, a public affairs firm that helps clients meet public policy challenges and communications, headed by a friend, Cathy Windels.

The event will be held one day before the Economic Freedom Network (EFN) Asia 2014 conference, Among the cool reading materials are these.

The Global IP Center (GIPC) of the US Chamber of Commerce published a few months ago The International Intellectual Property Index, 2014 Report. Only 25 countries were covered though, the Philippines not one of them. Perhaps in the coming years.

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Here is the overall result, global ranking of the countries included.

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The GIPC Index consists of 30 indicators divided into six major categories. Each indicator is scored between 0 and 1. The maximum available score for the entire index is 30.

Category 1: Patents, Related Rights, and Limitations

  1. Patent term of protection
  2. Patentability requirements
  3. Patentability of computer-implemented inventions
  4. Pharmaceutical-related patent enforcement and resolution mechanism
  5. Legislative criteria and use of compulsory licensing of patented products and technologies
  6. Patent term restoration for pharmaceutical products
  7. Regulatory data protection term

Category 2: Copyrights, Related Rights, and Limitations

  1. Copyrights (and related rights) term of protection
  2. Legal measures that provide necessary exclusive rights that prevent infringement of copyrights and related rights (including Web hosting, streaming, and linking)
  3. Availability of frameworks that promote cooperative action against online piracy
  4. Scope of limitations and exceptions to copyrights and related rights
  5. Digital rights management legislation
  6. Clear implementation of policies and guidelines requiring proprietary software used on government

information and communication technology (ICT) systems to be licensed software

Category 3: Trademarks, Related Rights, and Limitations

  1. Trademarks term of protection (renewal periods)
  2. Non-discrimination/non-restrictions on the use of brands in packaging of different products
  3. Ability of trademark owners to protect their trademarks: requisites for protection
  4. Legal measures available that provide necessary exclusive rights to redress unauthorized uses of trademarks
  5. Availability of frameworks that promote action against online sale of counterfeit goods

Category 4: Trade Secrets and Market Access

  1. Protection of trade secrets
  2. Barriers to market access

Category 5: Enforcement

  1. Physical counterfeiting rates
  2. Software piracy rates
  3. Civil and procedural remedies
  4. Pre-established damages and/or mechanisms for determining the amount of damages generated by infringement
  5. Criminal standards including minimum
  6. Effective border measures

Category 6: Membership and Ratification of International Treaties

  1. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet Treaties
  2. Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks
  3. Patent Law Treaty
  4. At least one free trade agreement with substantive and/or specific IP provisions such as chapters on IP and separate provisions on IP rights provided it was signed after World Trade Organization/ TRIPS membership.

The criteria seemed to be “tailored” so that the US would be in #1 rank, a comment from a friend.  Maybe but it was not the US government that made that report, it was the US Chamber of Commerce.

In Asia, only China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were included, and four of them are in the bottom — Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and India.

Here is another data from the World IP Organization (WIPO), shared by WEF in their fb page. In terms of patent applications, a number of big Asian countries are on the top, they realize the value of IPR protection and its contribution to a more innovative, higher productivity economy. This data seems to contradict the GIPC Report although the latter covers all  aspects  of  IPR while the WIPO data covers only patents.

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This from WEF blog is interesting, How to benefit from China’s innovation boom

China’s move from imitation to innovation has been a matter of national policy in recent years. In 2011, for example, the government established a set of ambitious targets for the production of patents. Almost immediately, China became the world’s top patent filer.

China soon surpassed the US in other important measures. Each year, Chinese universities award more PhDs in science and engineering than US institutions do – and more than twice as many undergraduate degrees in these fields.

Moreover, China is set to outpace the US in investment in research and development. Since 2001, China’s R&D expenditure has been growing by 18% annually and has more than doubled as a share of GDP. In the US, that ratio has remained relatively constant.

…statistics from the US National Science Foundation reveal a genuine drive to innovate across much of Asia, with East, South and Southeast Asian countries together spending more on R&D than the US. And technology-intensive activity in the region is fast approaching that of North America and Western Europe.

Indeed, despite territorial disputes and other divisive issues, the commissioners of the patent offices of Japan, South Korea, China and, to a lesser extent, Singapore and Taiwan meet often to define and coordinate their intellectual-property (IP) policies. China’s leaders know that they can learn from countries like Japan and South Korea, which implemented policies to encourage innovation and protect IP rights long before China did.

This is good news. The territorial dispute and packing up of armaments seem to be exaggerated by some sectors and the mainstream media.Underneath are many avenues for peace and commerce — more global and regional trade, in both goods and services, like IPR and innovative products and processes.

More innovation will spur more global commerce and trade. And that should mean less likelihood of any regional war.

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