US patent system is ‘weakening’, claims study
Liverpool | 29 January 2016

The US patent system is inefficient compared to 19 other countries with more effective patent processes, according to a new global index developed to assess international patent systems.

The Index of Patent Systems Strength (IPSS), developed by University of Liverpool Management School’s Dr Nikolaos Papageorgiadis, compares the effectiveness and strength of enforcement behind each country’s patent system.

IPSS assesses a patent system over 17 years, from 1998 and 2015, and annually ranks each 49 countries into five categories from very strong, to very weak.

In terms of ranking position, the IPSS places the US in the moderate category, behind Canada and list-topping Denmark, as well as New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore.

“From the point of view of IP owners, the extended patent battles and trolling activities evident in the US patent system have had an overall degenerative effect on the effectiveness and efficiency of the US patent system,” according to Papageorgiadis.

China’s scores have improved, according to the IPSS, thanks to specialised IP courts and a willingness to work with IP owners against infringement.

BRICS countries were considered ‘weak’ or ‘very weak’ by the IPSS, with India ranking fortieth.

Papageorgiadis said: “Negative perceptions of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Indian patent system are still prevalent, due to cases such as the refusal of the Supreme Court of India to grant a patent to Swiss group, Novartis, for its cancer drug, Glivec.”

Other countries ranked as ‘very weak’ include Mexico, the Philippines, Argentina and Indonesia.

Author: Tammy Facey



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