As the world continues to tackle challenges and crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine War, and the economic impact of each, it’s essential to examine the role of intellectual property (IP). IP protections play a vital role in spurring innovations that help address global challenges. The 2022 International Property Rights Index (IPRI), an annual report recently published by IP Progress partner, Property Rights Alliance (PRA) underscores the importance of IP rights across the globe.
Like previous years, the 2022 IPRI provides important insights on the strength of both physical and IP rights, and the legal and political environments that support them. The report examines 129 countries, representing 94% of the world population, and illustrates the strong relationship between robust property rights and overall prosperity.
The rankings are centered around the evaluation of three core components: a country’s Legal and Political Environment (LP), Physical Property Rights (PPR) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Taken together, these metrics make up the total IPRI score. Key findings from this year’s index include:
- For a fourth consecutive year, there was a decrease in the overall score of the IPRI. According to PRA, this suggests that instead of embracing property rights in the face of unprecedented crises, “government overreach” across the globe has stifled innovation necessary for solving complex problems.
- Countries’ LP were the weakest component with an average score of 5.06, followed by IPR with a score of 5.24. The PPR component was the strongest, with a score of 5.27. Additionally, this marked a fourth-year decrease for the LP and PPR components.
- Economies with high IPRI scores and related components continue to show strong income and development levels, indicating that strong property rights positively correlate to a country’s overall quality of life and economic strength.
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, this year’s report underscores how strong IP rights have fostered innovative solutions necessary for combating the virus. The report also highlights the dangers associated with actions that undermine those efforts, like the COVID-19 vaccine IP waiver.
Executive Director of the Property Rights Alliance and editor of the IPRI, Lorenzo Montanari, notes that “during this pandemic time, now more than ever, it is evident how innovation and intellectual property rights have played a crucial role in discovering vaccines and finding solutions to COVID-19.” Additionally, he notes that the index serves as an important tool to understand how the main components of the property rights ecosystem interact to “attract investment and nurture healthy institutions” – which is critical as countries look to rebuild following the pandemic.
Property rights continue to serve as an important driver of economic growth and social development, particularly in the face of numerous global crises. Now is the time to invest in and protect IP rights and the innovations they create to meet the needs of the moment and beyond.
See the complete report here.