#Opportunity4India – How IP is the Key to India’s Future

India has an immense potential to move ahead in its place as an economic powerhouse of Asia. With over 1.2 billion citizens and an academic infrastructure producing brilliant talent - particularly in science, technology, engineering and math – India is on track to be a leader in world innovation. However, many of India’s own policies are holding it back from its potential success.

According to the World IP Index, released by the Global IP Center at the United States Chamber of Commerce, India ranks 37th out of the 38 countries profiled in the index on protecting intellectual property. Protecting Intellectual Property is deemed as a critical aspect of fostering growth in industries ranging from bioscience to mobile technology and pharmaceutical development. Without these protections, recognized internationally, India will continue to hurt its own prospects for growth.

So what factors have led India to become so negligent of honoring intellectual property? For one, India is not a contracting party in any major international Intellectual Property treaties – leaving them isolated from the rapidly changing world of global intellectual property enforcement. Additionally, regulatory data protection and patent term restoration are not on the books in India, leading to a lack of consistent, long term monitoring and enforcement of IP. Finally, internal policing of copyright and IP infringing criminals is almost non-existent, leading to an environment of open theft throughout the nation.

If India would like to be recognized as a serious player in the global 21st century economy, they must first resolve their internal disregard for IP. As their R&D capabilities continue to grow, they will certainly thank themselves in the future for beginning this enforcement now. 

Ainsley Shea