Why and How to Measure Intellectual Property (IP) Rights

October 18, 2023   Ani Harutyunyan

  • Intellectual Property
  • Property, Markets & Trade
  • Blog

Over the last year, IP laws across the globe have been revised and drafted for things like aiming to streamline procedural aspects of registering and enforcing IP in a digital age. Similarly, as AI innovation continues to soar, country leaders gather to discuss the risks presented by this new technology. In the U.S., musicians and visual artists alike filed lawsuits or lobbied Congress for legislation in an attempt to protect their intellectual property. As many recent cases and laws cross physical boundaries and sectors, it is equally, if not more important, to determine universal standards for measuring IP rights.

A year ago, on this day, the Sunwater Institute published a Policy Report, “Measuring Intellectual Property Rights: Existing Indices, Addressing Gaps and Suggestions for Policymakers.” It illustrated the need to develop comprehensive and accurate IP rights measurements across countries, within countries across sectors, and over time to inform important decisions on innovation, resource allocation, and trade policy, which are still relevant today.

The report proposed assessment criteria to evaluate such measurements and develops basic standards for improving the development of such measures in the future. The assessment criteria focus on various conceptual and measurement issues, such as scope, legislation, enforcement, discrimination, internal consistency, replication, and breadth. 

The Policy Report also proposed a novel methodology of IP rights measurements that evaluates ‘outputs’, rather than ‘inputs’, demonstrating the practicality and usefulness of tracking real-world IP rights, focusing on exclusivity periods. 

Read the Policy Report >>