It’s close of the year now and rightly so it is also the time to introspect how this year has been for IP activities around the world and especially in the US in terms of achievements, growths, failures, and all other synonyms of experiences, and take positives from all these to be effectively prepared for the coming future. And, what would be the best way to infer these are but to look at the key indicators supported by statistics.
One such metrics is the International IP index published by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC). The GIPC Index considers data from 50 countries and scores them on the basis of five key sets of indicators in order to measure the intellectual property culture of individual countries. As of 2019, the US emerged as the leading country for the best intellectual property environment with an overall score of 42.66 points. This is a significant leap backed by shear stronger reforms for the US as just a year back it was ranked 12th among these group of nations.
In terms of Patent activity, the US stands 2nd along with its European counterparts a similar feat as the last year, though Singapore took the lead with an outstanding growth as compared to the last year.
So, the US owes this gigantic growth in its position to just one factor – clarity in Patent laws and practices. This has been a year which has witnessed a series of reforms ushered in by the USPTO to make a stronger IP regime in the state by expanding room for patent protections to the computer and biotech inventions. The USPTO brought clarity to 35 USC 101 and created comprehensive guidelines to its Alice-Mayo test to determine the scope of patent-eligible inventions.
A draft bill was also introduced later on May 22, 2019, that proposed to reform 35 U.S.C. 101 of the Patent Act by abrogating the judicial exception’s requirement of determining patent eligibility.
Further, the US Senate re-introduced the Stronger Patent Act, in July 2019, with an objective to reduce the unnecessary threats of post-grant proceedings and ex-parte re-examination by imposing certain restrictions to such provisions, thereby maintaining the confidence of an applicant in the granted patent.
There was also a proposal put forth in the US Congress to repeal AIA and to give more power and support to individual inventors through this.
One can accurately argue that there has been a cumulative effort which has resulted in a better domestic IP environment in the US and with these series of reforms put forth, which are still in the process of being a part of the Act, there is a bright future for an IP stakeholder to be in the US.
- The Global Intellectual Property Center
- The draft bill for 35 U.S.C., May 22, 2019
- Bill: The Stronger Patent Act
- Breaking down the Revised Alice/Mayo test for 35 U.S.C. 101
- Analyzing the 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance
- Will AIA (America Invents Act, 2011) be repealed
GIPC Index, GIPC Index 2019, IP activity, patent activity, 35 U.S.C. 101, Alice-Mayo test, Stronger Patent Act, patent-eligible, judicial exceptions